Plant: woody vine; flowering branches erect to ca. 1.5 dm tall, the old epidermis not flaking off; plants eglandular, glabrous to minutely villous; prickles very sharp, stout, broad-based, laterally flattened, hooked, down-turned Leaves: widely spaced, imperfectly deciduous, green above, paler green below; leaflets usually lanceolate to obovate; margins serrate to doubly serrate; primocane leaves (5-)7-11(-15) cm long, 4-8(-11) cm wide, palmately 3-5-foliolate or pedately (having lateral leaflets deeply lobed) 3-foliolate; floricane leaves 4-9 cm long, 2.5-9 cm wide, 3-foliolate INFLORESCENCE: simple cymes with 1-6(-8) flowers terminating short, erect, lateral branches, sometimes surpassing the leaves, bracteate, often leafy at the base Flowers: sepals usually reflexed, often apiculate to caudate, 4-10 mm long, the main portion ovate to lanceolate, the margins tomentose; petals white, 8-12 mm long; pistils glabrous Fruit: small, tasty, sub-spherical, coherent, fixed to the fleshy torus; drupelets dark red, glabrous, fleshy Misc: Shady places in riparian areas and near springs; 450-1850 m (1400-6000 ft); Mar-Jun REFERENCES: Brasher, Jeffrey W. 2001. Rosaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 33(1).
Brasher 2001, Carter 2012
Common Name: Arizona dewberry Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub Wetland Status: FACU General: Deciduous woody vine growing to 15 or 20 cm tall, the armed stems prostrate, with only flowering branches erect. Prickles conspicuous, very sharp, stout, laterally flattened and hooked, covering stems, leaf petioles, and flower pedicels; mature bark red to purple or tan Leaves: Widely spaced, glabrous to minutely villous, the lower surface paler green than the upper surface, veins only slightly prominent, pedately 5-foliolate; leaflets lanceolate to obovate, the margins serrate to doubly serrate, 7-11 cm long, 4-8 cm wide. Flowers: White to pink in short 1-6 flowered cymes, terminal on short erect lateral branches; sepals reflexed, 4-10 mm long, ovate to lanceolate with tomentose margins; petals white or tinged pink, 8-12 mm, longer than the sepals; stamens numerous. Fruits: Aggregate fruit similar to a small blackberry, conical in shape, with few fleshy drupelets that remain attached to the torus (receptacle, or center of the fruit), dark red at maturity. Ecology: Found in partial shade by streams, prefers well-drained soil, slightly acidic from 3,500-5,000 ft (1067-1524 m); flowers March-May. Distribution: s AZ to w TX, south into n MEX. Notes: This species, in the same genus as raspberries, blackberries, and thimbleberries, is relatively uncommon but readily identifiable with its prostrate habit, heavily armed stems, compound leaves that are slightly lighter green on the underside, white flowers and dark red berries. The fruit is said to be tasty and sweet. Dewberries are most closely related to blackberries, with both groups having cohesive fruits with drupelets that remain attached to the receptacle, rather than sliding off the receptacle as a unit or falling apart into individual drupelets, as in raspberries and thimbleberries. Ethnobotany: Fruit can be eaten raw or cooked, fruit can be pressed into cakes, dried and stored for later use. A purple to dull blue dye can be obtained from the fruit. Etymology: Rubus comes from Latin ruber for -red- and word meaning -bramble-, arizonensis refers to type specimen being from Arizona. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, AHazelton 2015