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Vascular Plants of California
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Rubus ursinus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RosaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: ROSE FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree, glandular or not. Leaf: simple to palmately or pinnately compound, generally alternate; stipules free to fused (0), persistent to deciduous. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, cluster, or flowers 1; bractlets on pedicel ("pedicel bractlets") generally 0--3(many), subtended by bract or generally not. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium free or fused to ovary, saucer- to funnel-shaped, subtending bractlets ("hypanthium bractlets") 0--5, alternate sepals; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5, free; stamens (0,1)5--many, anther pollen sacs generally 2; pistils (0)1--many, simple or compound, ovary superior to inferior, styles 1--5. Fruit: 1--many per flower, achene (fleshy-coated or not), follicle, drupe, or pome with generally papery core, occasionally drupe-like with 1--5 stones. Seed: generally 1--5 (per fruit, not per flower).
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 3000 species: worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for ornament, fruit, especially Cotoneaster, Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha, Rosa, Rubus. Note: Number of teeth is per leaf or leaflet, not per side of leaf or leaflet, except in Drymocallis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Daniel Potter & Barbara Ertter, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Daniel Potter, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Daniel Potter, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: RubusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Generally shrub; (dioecious). Stem: persisting 1--2 years, rooting at tips and/or nodes or not, erect or arched to mounded or prostrate, 5-angled or not, hairy or glabrous, glaucous or not, stalked glands present or not; bristles or prickles 0--many, prickles stout and wide-based or weak and slender, straight or curved. Leaf: simple, palmately lobed, to palmately compound, leaflets 3 or 5(11), toothed, abaxially +- glabrous to densely hairy; stipules thread-like to ovate or elliptic. Inflorescence: raceme- or panicle-like cyme, axillary or terminal; pedicel bractlets 0. Flower: generally bisexual; hypanthium flat to saucer-shaped, bractlets 0; sepals persistent, reflexed to ascending, ovate or lance-ovate, hairy or glabrous, stalked or sessile glands present or not, tip pointed, prickly or not; petals widely obovate, spoon-shaped, or elliptic, white to +- pink or magenta; stamens generally >> 20, filaments thread- or strap-like; pistils 5--150, receptacle flat or convex to conical, spongy, generally elongated in fruit, ovaries superior, hairy or glabrous, styles long, slender or short, thick, glabrous or hairy; ovules 2, 1 maturing. Fruit: fleshy-coated achenes, aggregate of few to many, yellow, orange, red, or black, generally falling as unit, separating with (blackberry-type) or without (raspberry-type) receptacle attached.
Etymology: (Latin: red; ancient name for bramble, blackberry)
eFlora Treatment Author: Lawrence A. Alice
Unabridged Reference: Alice & Campbell 1999 Amer J Bot 86:81--97
Rubus ursinus Cham. & Schltdl.
Habit: Plant prostrate to decumbent; generally dioecious; bristles or prickles generally many, weak, slender, straight. Stem: 2--10 mm diam, not angled, +- glabrous to hairy, +- with stalked glands, glaucous, persisting 2 years, rooting at tips. Leaf: simple or compound, leaflets 3(5), terminal triangular-ovate, irregularly coarse-toothed, tip acute, abaxially sparsely to densely gray-hairy, stipules thread-like to linear, <= 1 mm wide. Inflorescence: cyme, flowers 1--5. Flower: generally unisexual; sepals hairy, prickly, +- with stalked glands; petals 6--8(11) mm in pistillate, 10--15(18) mm in staminate, elliptic to round, white; filaments thread-like; pistils > 30, styles long, slender, ovaries glabrous or hairy. Fruit: blackberry-type, black. Chromosomes: 2n=42,49,56,63,77,84,91.
Ecology: Common. Open, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho, Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul
Synonyms: Rubus eastwoodianus Rydb.; Rubus lemurum S.W. Br.; Rubus macropetalus Douglas ex Hook.; Rubus sirbenus L.H. Bailey; Rubus titanus L.H. Bailey; Rubus ursinus subsp. macropetalus (Douglas ex Hook.) Roy L. Taylor & MacBryde; Rubus ursinus var. eastwoodianus (Rydb.) J.T. Howell; Rubus ursinus var. macropetalus (Douglas ex Hook.) S.W. Br.; Rubus ursinus var. medusae S.W. Br.; Rubus ursinus var. pentaphyllus S.W. Br.; Rubus ursinus var. sirbenus (L.H. Bailey) J.T. Howell; Rubus ursinus var. vitifolius (Cham. & Schltdl.) Focke; Rubus vitifolius Cham. & Schltdl.; Rubus vitifolius var. eastwoodianus (Rydb.) Munz; Rubus vitifolius var. titanus (L.H. Bailey) L.H. Bailey; Rubus vitifolius subsp. ursinus (Cham. & Schltdl.) Abrams
Unabridged Note: Parent of several cultivars, especially loganberry, boysenberry.
Jepson eFlora Author: Lawrence A. Alice
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Rubus ursinus

botanical illustration including Rubus ursinus

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Citation for this treatment: Lawrence A. Alice 2012, Rubus ursinus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 28, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 28, 2023.

Rubus ursinus
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©2019 Barry Breckling
Rubus ursinus
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©2014 California Academy of Sciences
Rubus ursinus
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©2001 Tony Morosco
Rubus ursinus
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©2008 Keir Morse
Rubus ursinus
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©2007 Neal Kramer

More photos of Rubus ursinus
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Rubus ursinus:
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2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).