Mysore raspberry

Mysore raspberry

Rubus niveus thunb.

Common Name:

Mysore raspberry

Scientific Name:

Rubus niveus thunb.

Alternative common names:

Black Raspberry, Hill Raspberry, Ceylon raspberry (English). Frambuesa (Spanish). Hong pao ci teng (Chinese). Java bramble, kala hinsalu (Hindi-India).  Mysorehimbeere (German). 


Mysore raspberry  is a large perennial shrub growing up to 4.5 metres in height that may form dense thickets of intertwining stems. The flexible, arching stems may be downy when young but become glabrous and glaucous at maturity. They are covered with sharp, hooked thorns 3-7mm long. This shrub may form dense, impenetrable, thorny thickets that can displace native species. It produces sweet, palatable fruit enjoyed by birds, rodents, reptiles and humans and has been cultivated in many regions throughout the world for this reason. 

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Southern Asia, from Afghanistan east through India and China to Taiwan and the Philippines.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA-Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Mpumalanga.

How does it spread?

Humans, birds, and other organisms consume the fruit and excrete its seeds in other areas.

Why is it a problem?

It forms dense, impenetrable, thorny thickets which may take over forest, scrubland, and areas of open vegetation. It also affects agricultural land, causing serious economic problems for farmers.

What does it look like?

Leaves: The leaves, (10-20 cm) long, are composed of 5 to 9 elliptic-ovate leaflets, coarsely toothed, dark-green above and, on the underside. White-hairy with small, sharp spines along the rachis.

Flowers: Pink or red-purple, 5-petalled flowers that are (1.25 cm) across, occur in lax axillary and terminal clusters.

Fruit/seeds: Fruits are dark-purple/black, with a sweet, full, raspberry flavour.

Does the plant have any uses?

The berries are eaten raw, cooked, or made into other products such as jam, desserts and juice they also have high levels of vitamins A, B1 and C. Dry leaves are used in herbal teas and both leaves and roots are used medicinally.

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