Raspberry - Rubus ideaus

Main features

  • An native shrub that is often cultivated and can be found wild in woodland, hedgerows, heathland and down

  • Pinnate leaves with one to three pairs of serrated oval leaflets and one serrated oval terminal leaflet

  • Upright canes/stems with weak/fragile prickles

  • Underside of leaves very pale, almost white

  • Flowers are white and the sepals are as long as the petals

  • The berries are red and formed of a masses of spherical segments

  • The flesh easily comes away from the fruit's core when picked

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Raspberry - Rubus ideaus

Edible plant - novice

Other common names: Common Raspberry, Common Red Raspberry, European Raspberry, American Red Raspberry, Grayleaf Red Raspberry

 

Scientific name meaning: Rubus is from the Latin for "red" - Rubra. Idaeus is also Latin and means belonging to Mount Ida, which is in Crete

Season Summer - Autumn

Habitat - where will I find it? A native shrub that is also a garden escape, it can be found in woodland, hedgerows, heathland, and downs

Description - what does it look like? Raspberry has erect stems that can reach up to 160cm. The stems are covered in fragile prickles.

The leaves have a pinnate formation, with one to three pairs of oval, serrated-edged leaflets and one oval, serrated-edged terminal leaflet.

The underside of the leaves are much paler than the topside, sometimes appearing almost white.

The flowers are white and the sepals are as long as the petals.

The berries that follow are red when ripe and have multiple spherical segments (drupelets). The flesh of the fruit easily comes away from its core when harvested

Possible lookalikes Other Raspberries, Blackberries. The leaves of Blackberries, however, are palmate, leaflets radiate from the same point; the Blackberry's prickles are much more substantial, and the underside of the leaves are much less pale than those of Raspberry.

In addition, Blackberry fruit is purple-black, much more shiny, and the flesh does not come away from the core when picked.

Use as a food The berries can be used to make jams, jellies, cordials, wine, syrup, fruit leather, and chutneys, or can be eaten raw.

The dried leaves are used to make a herbal infusion - see Hazards

Use in herbal medicine Has been used as a decongestant, an anti-inflammatory, an aid to childbirth, to strengthen the uterus, to relax the uterus, to cause contractions, to ease painful menstruation, and to treat tonsillitis, wounds, sores, burns and ulcers.

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Other uses The berries are used in facemasks and to make a pruple dye. Paper has also been made from the stem fibre

Hazards The leaves should not be used in early (first two trimesters) or pregnancy

Importance to other species Provides an important food source for pollinators, particularly bees

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!