Asian wild rasberry
Common name:Asian wild rasberry
Scientific name:Rubus ellipticus
Alternative common names:
Yellow Himalayan raspberry, Broadleafed bramble (English), Ceylon blackberry (English).
Rubus ellipticus is a stout evergreen shrub with prickly stem that grows approximately 4.5 metres tall. Its stems are covered with prickles and reddish hairs. It has been introduced to several places, including Hawaii, Southern USA and the UK, and is grown in cultivation for its edible fruits. This plant has become a major pest in Hawai'i, threatening its own native species of raspberry (Rubus hawaiiensis), and the ability of this plant to thrive in diverse habitat types makes it a particularly threatening invasive plant.
Where does this species come from?Southern Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Tropical China, and the Philippines)
What is its invasive status in South Africa?NEMBA Category 1a
Where in South Africa is it a problem?Western Cape
How does it spread?This species spreads rapidly by root suckers and will regenerate from underground shoots after fire or cutting.
Why is it a problem?It has potential to form impenetrable thickets, threatening indigenous lowland wet forests and that can displace indigenous plant species.
What does it look like?Leaves: 12 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, thick, more or less persistent , the terminal or central one much the largest, pointed leaf apex and obtuse base, hollow veins on the upper sides, prominent veins on the back with reddish thorny hairs; 2-6 cm petioles, 2-3 cm terminal one, almost no petioles on the lateral leaflets covered with reddish thorny hairs. Flowers: white flowers and occur in short, terminal panicles Fruit/seeds: The fruit is yellow, edible and highly sought after
Does the plant have any uses?Its fruits are edible and can also be used to produce a purplish blue dye