Rubus phoenicolasius

Common Names: Wineberry, Japanese wineberry, wine raspberry, dewberry
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Rubus genus

The species was introduced to Europe and North America as an ornamental plant and for its potential in breeding hybrid raspberries. It has subsequently escaped from cultivation and become naturalised and sometimes invasive in parts of Europe and North America.

A perennial plant which bears biennial stems from the perennial root system. In its first year, a new stem grows vigorously to its full height of 1 to 3 m, unbranched, and bearing large pinnate leaves with three or five leaflets; normally it does not produce any flowers the first year. In its second year, the stem does not grow taller, but produces several side shoots, which bear smaller leaves always with three leaflets; the leaves are white underneath. The plant's leaves and stems/branches are covered in spines. The flowers are produced on short, very bristly racemes on the tips of these side shoots, each flower 6 to 10 mm diameter with five purplish red to pink petals and a bristly calyx. The fruit is orange or red, about 1 cm diameter, edible, produced in summer or early autumn; in botanical terminology, it is not a berry at all, but an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core. Ripening occurs from early summer. The canes have red glandular hairs. These red hairs give the species its scientific name, from the Latin phoenicus, meaning red. As a fruit develops, it is surrounded by a protective calyx covered in hairs that exude tiny drops of sticky fluid and resembles those of carnivorous plants.

They are common along the edges of fields and roadsides, waste areas and in residential areas. Blooms in late spring.

Primary Flower Color: Pink
Secondary Flower Color: Blue/Purple
Edible Notes: Like raspberries, the wineberry is edible, sweet, and tart.
Warnings: While not generally considered dangerous, the plant is covered with a lot of dense spines and is capable of inflicting injury.