Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
ROSE FAMILY (Rosaceae)
IND. STATUS: FACW-
FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: Stems up to 2 m., erect, arching (sometimes prostrate), sparsely to densely covered with slender-based prickles and stiff bristles. Flower stalks and leaf stalks of younger foliage with gland-tipped bristles (use a 10x lens, these look like a stalk with a ball on the end). Leaves compound with 3-5 leaflets, green above and strongly whitened beneath. Flowers white to greenish white, blooming in May. Mature fruit red, about 1 cm. wide. The European red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) is also similar, but is glandless. It sometimes escapes from gardens, but typically does not persist in the wild (Swink and Wilhelm 1994). Some authors (e.g., Swink and Wilhelm 1994) treat American red raspberry as Rubus idaeus L. var. strigosus (Michx.) Maxim.
Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.), also has strongly-whitened leaf undersides, but has glandless, broad-based prickles or thorns, glaucous stems, and the mature fruit is purple-black.
ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Frequent along the edges of wooded and shrub swamps, as well as bogs. Especially common following clearing, burning or other disturbances.
SOURCE: Gleason and Cronquist (1991); Swink and Wilhelm (1994); and Voss (1985).