Cultural and economic importance
Many Rubus species were important food sources for native peoples of the Northern Hemisphere, who used the fruits and, in some species, the leaves, stems or roots; the berries were also used as a source of dye. The economic importance of this diverse group is hard to assess, as there are so many different species, but the FAO estimates that the total commercial production of raspberries and other berries (not specified, but not including blueberries, cranberries, gooseberries, or strawberries) was 1.4 million metric tons, harvested from 223,190 hectares worldwide. However, this undoubtedly understates the numerous berries produced for local markets and in home gardens.
(Bailey et al. 1976, FAOSTAT 2012.)
- Bailey, L.H., E.Z. Bailey, and the L.H. Bailey Hortatorium. 1976. Hortus Third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. New York: Macmillan. p. 984–986.
- FAOSTAT. 2012. Searchable online statistical database from Food and Agriculture Division of the United Nations. Retrieved 10 July 2012 from http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=567#ancor.
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