Rubus rigidus Sm.

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Rubus rigidus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Tiger Kloof, Mutare

Rubus rigidus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Tiger Kloof, Mutare

Rubus rigidus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba road near Tom Hulley rd turn-off

Rubus rigidus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba road near Tom Hulley rd turn-off

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Rubus atrocoeruleus Gust.
Rubus chrysocarpus Mundt
Rubus inedulis Rolfe
Rubus mundtii Cham. & Schltdl.
Common names:
Status: Native
A very variable scrambling shrub 1–3·5 m high. Flowering branches pale greyish-green-hairy, partially becoming hairless, sparsely to moderately set with straight to moderately decurved prickles 3–5 mm long. Leaves 7–14 cm long, mostly 3-foliolate, sometimes pinnate with 5 leaflets below, or simple in the uppermost leaves; petiole and rhachis hairy and spiny like the stems; lateral leaflets subsessile, terminal one with petiolule 1·5–4 cm long. Leaflets more or less broadly ovate, dark green and sparsely appressed-hairy or almost hairless above, densely greyish-hairy or velvety beneath, the midrib sparsely and minutely prickly; margins evenly serrate. Stipules narrowly linear. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, 5–26 cm long, many-flowered. Calyx densely greenish-tomentose, deeply divided; lobes broadly ovate-acute to ovate with long caudate apex, 5–13 mm long, spreading to somewhat reflexed in fruit. Petals broadly spathulate or suborbicular with narrow claw, pale pink to purple, slightly shorter than the sepals, very occasionally absent. Fruit globose, c. 0·8 cm long, often galled and becoming much larger, deep orange when ripe.
Notes: R. rigidus apparently is the only species in the region that often has galled fruits.
Derivation of specific name: rigidus: stiff, rigid.
Habitat: Along margins of wet forest, stream banks and roadsides.
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Cameroon, DRC, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana and South Africa.
Botswana distribution:
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 237.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 48.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 99.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 239.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 70. As synonym of Rubus apetalus

Mendes, E.J. (1978). Rosaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 15 - 16.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 86.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 96.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Pages 159 - 160.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 98.

Other sources of information about Rubus rigidus:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Rubus rigidus
Flora of Malawi: Rubus rigidus
Flora of Mozambique: Rubus rigidus
Flora of Zambia: Rubus rigidus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Rubus rigidus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Rubus rigidus
African Plant Database: Rubus rigidus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Rubus rigidus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Rubus rigidus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Rubus rigidus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Rubus rigidus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Rubus rigidus
JSTOR Plant Science: Rubus rigidus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Rubus rigidus
Plants of the World Online: Rubus rigidus
Tropicos: Rubus rigidus
Wikipedia: Rubus rigidus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Rubus rigidus., retrieved 25 May 2024

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