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Whitebark raspberry facts for kids

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Whitebark raspberry
var. bernardinus
Scientific classification
R. leucodermis
Binomial name
Rubus leucodermis
Dougl. ex Torr. & A.Gray 1840
  • Melanobatus leucodermis (Douglas ex Torr. & A. Gray) Greene
  • Rubus occidentalis var. leucodermis (Douglas ex Torr. & A. Gray) Focke

Rubus leucodermis, also called whitebark raspberry, blackcap raspberry or blue raspberry, is a species of Rubus native to western North America, from Alaska south as far as California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Chihuahua.

Rubus leucodermis is closely related to the eastern black raspberry Rubus occidentalis. The name leucodermis means "white skin", referring to the white appearance of the stems because of a thick waxy coating on the surface.

Rubus leucodermis is a deciduous shrub growing to 0.5–3 m tall, with prickly shoots. While the crown is perennial, the canes are biennial, growing vegetatively one year, flowering and fruiting the second, and then dying. As with other dark raspberries, the tips of the first-year canes (primocanes) often grow downward to the soil in the fall, and take root and form tip layers which become new plants. The leaves are pinnate, with five leaflets on leaves' strong-growing stems in their first year, and three leaflets on leaves on flowering branchlets with white and infrequently light purple flowers. The fruit is 1–1.2 cm diameter, red to reddish-purple at first, turning dark purple to nearly black when ripe. The edible fruit has high contents of anthocyanins and ellagic acid.

It is a variable species, and forms natural hybrids with other species in subgenus Idaeobatus. Three varieties are recognized:

  • Rubus leucodermis var. leucodermis – Alaska to Chihuahua
  • Rubus leucodermis var. bernardinus Jepson – southern California
  • Rubus leucodermis var. trinitatis Berger – southern California


See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Rubus leucodermis para niños

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