Rubus phoenicolasius

Wineberry

Botanical description: Rubus phoenicolasius is a species of raspberry native to Korea, Japan and China. It was introduced into North America in 1890 as breeding stock for new raspberry cultivars and is still used today by berry breeders. It is typically found in the wild at woodland edges and along roadsides and railroad tracks. Wineberry is a perennial, multi-stemmed shrub that prefers sunny yet moist sites and spreads through its network of stems which root at their ends. It can form dense, shady thickets of prickly red stems which limit the growth of other plants and make it undesirable to walk through. These thickety characteristics can also prove to be useful as the quick-growing, woody stalks capture carbon and its extensive root system prevents soil erosion on embankments. The shrub leafs out in sets of three, with leaves green on top and wholly white underneath. The fruits are very distinctive for their ruby-like character, and the red glandular hairs that cover the sepals that surround them. The attractive orange and red berries contain many seeds and are an excellent food source for birds, deer and other woodland wildlife, fruiting well into late summer. The fruits are deliciously sweet and tart - perfect for making pies, jams, desserts and wines.