Japanese wineberries

A mystery fruit in our garden has turned out to be a Japanese Wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) – also called wineberry or wine raspberry. Apparently the Latin name means “raspberry with purple hairs”. It is native to Eastern Asia, but after being introduced to Europe and North America for the purposes of breeding new hybrid raspberry varieties, it has escaped cultivation and naturalised, sometimes to the extent of being considered invasive.

In our garden there are a mass of sprawling canes at the foot of a tree near the house, and another less healthy plant in a small flowerbed against the wall of the house, so we think they were probably planted by the owners-before-last.

Japanese wineberry

20170708_140451 (2)

They intrigued me first by having very bristly but not too prickly stems and very hairy, bristly pointed seed pods. They also have lovely fresh green soft leaves which are almost heart-shaped.

When the fruits emerge, they look a bit like small, very bright red blackberries, but the plant is actually a species of raspberry.

Japanese wineberry

When the fruits emerge, they look a bit like small, very bright red blackberries. I love the way the fruits all develop at different rates within the one bunch, and when ripe they almost start to pop off their bright orange cone-shaped receptacles.

Japanese wineberry closeup

Japanese Wineberry

I should add that the fruits, although small, are very juicy, and sweet but with a slight tartness to them – refreshingly delicious!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s