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Subspecies (Direct Children)
Rubus arcticus ssp. acaulis
Rubus arcticus ssp. arcticus
Rubus arcticus ssp. stellatus
For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.
Arctic blackberry (often commonly called arctic rasberry or nagoonberry) produces an edible fruit that can be eaten raw or cooked. The berries are frequently made into a jam or juice, or made into wine or liqueur. It is usually stored frozen. The leaves are sometimes used to make a tea. There are no known medicinal uses, although the Shuswap of British Columbia have used the leaves as treatment for diarrhea.
Identification and Information
Arctic blackberry is a perennial herb or subshrub belonging to the rose family that grows 5-30 cm (2-12 inches) in height from an erect stem that is slightly hairy. The stems are typically woody at the base. The roots are highly branched, spreading shallowly (3-5 cm) and horizontally over an area that can cover several meters. Smaller feeder roots can grow to greater depths.
The leaves are deciduous, alternate, ternate (compound with 3 leaflets). The leaflets are usually coarsely toothed (dentate, serrate, or doubly serrate). Leaves are sparsely hairy on the top, but usually smooth underneath.
Each stem is single-flowered with veined pink or magenta to slightly purple petals and an equal number of narrow, triangular sepals. The sepals are shorter than the petals. The edges of the petals commonly curl. The pedicels can be glabrous or sparsely hairy. In the center of the flower is a mostly closed column of tightly spaced erect stamens the same with pistils interior. The stamens are shorter, but the same color as the petals.
The fruits of Rubus arcticus are druplets of red to dark purple round clusters looking similar to a small rasberry.
Distribution and Habitat
Arctic blackberry (Rubus arcticus) has a circumpolar distribution. In North America it is found in Alaska, all of Canada, and a few northern states in the US. It is also found across Eurasia.
Arctic blackberry is most often found near forested areas or thickets and in moist soil or near marshes.
|Rank||Scientific Name (Common Name)|
|Kingdom||Plantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)|
|Subkingdom||Viridiplantae (green plants)|
|Infrakingdom||Streptophyta (land plants)|
|Division||Tracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)|
|Subdivision||Spermatophytina (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)|
|Genus||Rubus (framboises, ronces, brambles, blackberry)|
|Species||Rubus arcticus (arctic blackberry)|
References and Further Reading
Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers, Pratt, Verna E. pg 16 (nagoonberry)
Classification and Taxonomy
Rubus arcticus L. arctic raspberry, USDA Database
Rubus arcticus L., Native American Ethnobotany Database
Rubus arcticus – L., Plants for a Future
Description and Information
Rubus arcticus L. ssp. acaulis (Michaux) Focke (dwarf raspberry): A Technical Conservation Assessment, Juanita A. R. Ladyman, Prepared for the USDA Forest Service
Rubus arcticus (Arctic Raspberry), Minnesota Wildflowers
2. Rubus arcticus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 494. 1753. Arctic raspberry, Flora of North America