Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

The compound drupes (fruits) of Common Dewberry are edible to humans; when they are fully ripened, their flavor is pleasant. Common Dewberry can be distinguished from most Rubus spp. (Blackberries) by its vine-like habit. There are other Rubus spp. that are woody vines in various areas of the state, but they are less common. One of them, Rubus trivialis (Southern Dewberry) is restricted to southern Illinois. Its appearance and growth habit is similar to Common Dewberry, but the young stems of Southern Dewberry usually have sharp bristles and prickles. The young stems of Common Dewberry have soft hairs and prickles, but not sharp bristles. The leaves of Southern Dewberry are evergreen, while those of Common Dewberry are deciduous. The appearance of Common Dewberry is somewhat variable across its broad range, although different varieties have not been described for Illinois.
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Description

This native woody vine produces stems up to 15' long that trail along the ground; some of the flowering stems are more erect and up to 4' tall. Old stems are brown and woody with scattered hooked prickles. Young stems are green with scattered hooked prickles; they are also more or less hairy. Alternate compound leaves occur at intervals along the stems. They are usually trifoliate with 3 leaflets; less often, compound leaves with 5 leaflets occur. These leaflets are up to 3" long and 1" across; they are ovate, doubly serrate along the margins, and mostly hairless. The underside of each leaflet is pale green, rather than white or velvety. Most leaflets have wedge-shaped bottoms and tips that taper gradually. The terminal leaflet has a short petiole (petiolule), while the lateral leaflets are sessile. Each compound leaf is connected to the stem by a long petiole. At the base of this petiole, there is a pair of small linear stipules.
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Common Dewberry is common in the southern half of Illinois; it is less common or absent in the northern half of the state, particularly in the NW area (see Distribution Map). Habitats include mesic to dry savannas and sandy savannas, woodland borders, meadows in wooded areas, and abandoned fields. Common Dewberry is found in both sandy and non-sandy habitats. Occasional wildfires that remove tall woody vegetation tend to increase the population of Common Dewberry. Faunal Associations
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Type Information

Type fragment for Rubus arundelanus Blanch.
Catalog Number: US 647063
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Verified from the card file of type specimens
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): W. H. Blanchard
Year Collected: 1905
Locality: Kennebunkport., York, Maine, United States, North America
  • Type fragment: Blanchard, W. H. 1906. Rhodora. 8: 176.
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Type fragment for Rubus arundelanus Blanch.
Catalog Number: US 647057
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Verified from the card file of type specimens
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): W. H. Blanchard
Year Collected: 1905
Locality: Kennebunkport., York, Maine, United States, North America
  • Type fragment: Blanchard, W. H. 1906. Rhodora. 8: 176.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Common Dewberry is common in the southern half of Illinois; it is less common or absent in the northern half of the state, particularly in the NW area (see Distribution Map). Habitats include mesic to dry savannas and sandy savannas, woodland borders, meadows in wooded areas, and abandoned fields. Common Dewberry is found in both sandy and non-sandy habitats. Occasional wildfires that remove tall woody vegetation tend to increase the population of Common Dewberry. Faunal Associations
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Common Dewberry in Illinois

Rubus flagellaris (Common Dewberry)
(Bees collect pollen or suck nectar, other insects suck nectar; some observations are from Evans, Herms, or Grundel & Pavlovic as indicated below, otherwise they are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn fq (Rb, Ev); Apidae (Bombini): Bombus impatiens (Ev), Bombus pensylvanica sn fq; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn (Rb, Ev); Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Synhalonia speciosa sn fq, Synhalonia rosae sn; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada articulata sn, Nomada superba superba sn fq; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys sayi sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn, Megachile mendica sn (Rb, Ev); Megachilidae (Osmiini): Hoplitis cylindricus sn cp, Hoplitis pilosifrons sn cp (Rb, Ev), Osmia atriventris sn cp, Osmia cordata sn, Osmia lignaria lignaria sn cp, Osmia pumila sn cp fq

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon virescens sn cp, Augochlorella aurata sn cp, Augochloropsis metallica metallica (Ev), Halictus confusus (Ev), Halictus ligatus sn, Lasioglossum coriaceus (Ev), Lasioglossum pectoralis sn cp (Rb, Ev), Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus (Ev), Lasioglossum versatus sn cp; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis (Ev); Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena carlini sn, Andrena crataegi (Ev), Andrena cressonii sn cp, Andrena forbesii sn, Andrena hippotes sn cp, Andrena imitatrix imitatrix sn cp, Andrena nasonii sn cp, Andrena nuda sn cp, Andrena personata sn, Andrena pruni sn cp

Wasps
Vespidae (Eumeninae): Euodynerus foraminatus, Leionotus scrophulariae (Rb, MS)

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis dimidiatus, Eristalis stipator, Tropidia quadrata; Bombyliidae: Bombylius atriceps fq; Conopidae: Zodion fulvifrons; Sarcophagidae: Helicobia rapax

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Chlosyne nycteis; Lycaenidae: Lycaeides melissa samuelis (GP, Hm) fq; Pieridae: Colias philodice

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Epargyreus clarus, Erynnis juvenalis, Pholisora catullus, Poanes zabulon, Polites themistocles, Staphylus hayhurstii, Thorybes pylades

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Rubus flagellaris

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Rubus flagellaris

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Rubus flagellaris

Rubus flagellaris, the northern dewberry,[1] also known as the common dewberry,[2] is a perennial subshrub species of the Rosaceae or rose family. It can exist as a woody vine or low growing shrub and is distributed from Nebraska to mostly all of the states to the east of it in the United States. It is also found in central and eastern territories and provinces of Canada as well.[1] It grows in a host of habitats ranging from dry savannas to deciduous forests. It also produces a dark purple drupe that when fully ripened has a tart-sweet flavor.[2]

Description[edit]

Individuals of this species are composed of low-growing stems that range from eight to fifteen feet long and flowering stems that can grow up to four feet high. The young stems are green with a scattered arrangement of hairy prickles. The old stems are brown, woody and have hard prickles in comparison to the young stem. Sometimes the tips of the young stems root into the ground and form vegetative offsets.[2]

It has an alternate compound leaf arrangement, with mostly three, but sometimes five leaflets attached. The margins of the leaves are serrated while the leaves show a palmate venation.[3] Each leaflet is approximately three inches long and one inch wide, with an ovate shape to each. The leaflets are green on top, but pale green on the underside.[2] One leaflet of a set is connected by a petiole to the stem while the other leaflets in the set are connected to that terminal leaflet. The roots of the northern dewberry consist of a woody taproot.[2]

The northern dewberry also produces a five-petaled white flower, each flower about one inch in diameter.[3] The flowers exhibit a terminal inflorescence with one to five flowers per young stem.[4]

Flowers of R. flagellaris are white and contain five petals. The flowers are hermaphrodites and have both female and male sex organs.[5] There are five sepals, green in appearance, lanceolate in shape. The ovaries exhibit a superior position relative to the sepals and petals. Several stamen surround a cluster of carpels.[2] The most active growth occurs from mid-spring to early summer. The flowers would then open up at day time, but close up at night time.[2]

Once the flowers of the northern dewberry are fertilized, drupes soon grow and replace each flower.[2] The drupes are a dark-purplish color and range from ½ inch to one inch in diameter.[2][3] Once the fruit has fully ripened a notable tart-sweet flavor is obtained. Many animals such as raccoons, fox squirrels, eastern chipmunks, white-footed mice and other mammals eat the drupes and aid in the dispersal of the shrub.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Rubus flagellaris is native to the middle and eastern United States from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska to the eastern coast. R. flagellaris is also native to areas in Canada such as Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.[1] It grows on dry soils, bogs, soft soils and wooded soils.[4] This species is actually especially adapted to coarse textured soils (such as sandy soils), fine textured soils (such as loamy soils) and medium textured soils (such as clay-textured soils).[1] R. flagellaris grows in a wide range of habitats including mesic to dry savannas and sandy savannas, abandoned fields, meadows in wooded areas and woodland borders.[2] The species has its most active growth from the spring to the summer. It is adapted to a precipitation zone that ranges from 15 to 40 inches/yr, tolerate a soil pH ranging from 5.0 to 7.0 and can grow in temperatures as low as -23 °F. [Can survive, surely. Actual growth must hapen at much warmer temps.] This species also has a low tolerance to drought conditions as compared to other species with the same growth habit from the same geographical region. It has no salinity tolerance and this species has an intermediate shade tolerance as compared to other species with the same growth habit from the same geographical region.[1]

Ecology[edit]

When occasional wildfires burn down tall woody trees surrounding R. flagellaris, the resulting burning has a positive effect on population growth for the subshrub species.[2] Other research has also shown that occasional fires are beneficial to the population growth of R. flagellaris.[6] The flowers of this species are excellent at attracting a large number of native bees (with a fragrant nectar) as well as providing nesting materials and structures for the native bees.[7] Some of the bee species that interact with R. flagellaris are mason bees (of the genus Osmia), leaf-cutting bees, cuckoo bees (of the subfamily Nomadine), and miner bees.[2] These bees help to pollinate the flowers of the northern dewberry. Other insects that interact with the northern dewberry to help pollinate it are Siphonopora rubi (blackberry aphid), Metallus rubi (blackberry leafminer), Agrilus ruficollis (red-necked cane borer) and Edwardsiana rosae (rose leafhopper).[2] The R. flagellaris flowers have also been seen to be a preferential source of nectar for the Karner blue, an endangered species of blue butterfly found in the U.S. Midwest and northeastern areas of the continent.[8] R. flagellaris also has a high tolerance to hedging from livestock or wildlife.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Natural Resources Conservation Service. "Rubus flagellaris Willd. northern dewberry". Plants Database. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Hilty, John. "Common Dewberry". Wildflowers of Illinois in Savannas & Thickets. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Seiler, John; Jensen, Edward; Niemiera, Alex; Peterson, John (2011). "dewberry Rosaceae Rubus flagellaris Willd.". Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Family Rosaceae Rubus flagellaris Willd". Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  5. ^ >"Rubus flagellaris - Willd.". Plants for a Future. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  6. ^ Taft, John B. (December 2005). "Fire Effects on Structure, Composition, and Diversity in a South-Central Illinois Flatwoods Remnant". Castanea 70 (4): 298–313. doi:10.2179/0008-7475(2005)070[0298:FEOSCA]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0008-7475. JSTOR 4034296. 
  7. ^ ‘’Lary Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’’, Rubus flagellaris Willd, April 30, 2012
  8. ^ Grundel, Ralph; Pavlovic, Noel B.; Sulzman, Christina L (2000). "Nectar plant selection by the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore". The American Midland Naturalist 144 (1): 1–10. doi:10.1674/0003-0031(2000)144[0001:NPSBTK]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0003-0031. JSTOR 3083005. 
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