Exploring my little piece of the planet

Strawberryleaf Raspberry

Rubus pedatus
~ also called Strawberry Bramble, 5-Leaved Bramble and Creeping Raspberry

I’m the kind of person that can have an engaging conversation with you and not be able to tell somebody later what you were wearing, so it was especially exciting for me when I noticed this little plant in a small deep-moss  clearing. It’s not so much that I’d never seen it before, it’s that I’d never really seen it!

Perhaps I had never seen it in bloom and may have mistaken its foliage for that of one of its cousins, the Dwarf Raspberry. In bloom I might have assumed that it was another relative, the Wild Strawberry. It’s very tiny.

A closer look reveals that this flower is quite different from a strawberry’s. The petals are more elongated and the centre was different. It had three very distinct superior ovaries with styles that turn pink along with the base of the petals and sepals as the flower matures.

The sepals are drooping at first, as you can see in the top picture and then in more mature blooms raised level below the petals. As the petals fall off it seems they continue to rise to enclose the fruit.

Single leaf and flower stalk emerge separately from the moss, about 5-7 centimetres high.

The leaves were different as well. At first I thought it had five leaflets on its palmately divided leaf, but the side leaflets are just so deeply cleft that there are actually only three.

Apparently the number of ovaries can vary as the fruit can have from 1-6 drupelets.

I had a really hard time identifying this plant. I couldn’t find it in any of my books, or through Internet searching so I posted it to a couple of groups on Flickr that help with this kind of thing. The following day I was very grateful to receive a positive ID from Tiggrx. I later found it in Wildflowers of Alberta by R.G.H. Cormack (Hurtig 1977) as a note within the description for the Dewberry.

There are literally hundreds of plants in the Rubus genus, which it is believed has survived for some 36,000 years and exists on all continents except Antarctica. This little treasure is just another little sibling in the family and I don’t know how long I’ve been rudely ignoring it. It is a beauty. It fully deserves the risk of getting a little damp as you lay down in the soft deep moss to spend some time getting to know it better.

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Resources:

Turner Photographics
E-Flora BC
USDA Plants Database

Many thanks to Tiggrx for identifying this plant for me.

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4 responses

  1. Nice work in documenting your local Rubus species. Here in central Texas (where things are the antithesis of your green world due to a drought) we have Rubus trivialis, which is as common as your seems scarce. Called (southern) dewberry, its canes (creeping stalks) are all over the place in the wild, and many a time I’ve gotten their prickles caught in my clothing or skin. The berries are not only edible but sweet.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

    July 27, 2011 at 9:50 am

    • Thank you Steve. One of our Rubus is also called Dewberry or Trailing/Running Raspberry – Rubus pubescens. It is very low (about 30 cm. or 1 foot – although I haven’t seen it that high, has very, very tiny sweet berries and hairs rather than prickles. I suppose its size would be a typical adaptation for shorter/longer warmer/colder seasons.

      July 29, 2011 at 8:20 am

  2. Isn’t it wonderful to find something “new”. Something you’ve overlooked in the past, that suddenly catches your eye. Then, in the future, you can’t help seeing it everywhere. 🙂

    August 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    • That is just the story, Sybil. I now see that I have been tramping over it without really seeing it in several places. It is very exciting to ‘discover’ a new species. I can only imagine how the early botanists must have felt as they explored new ecosystems. It must have been a very heady experience. Thanks for stopping by.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:54 am

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