Rubus pubescens (Dwarf Raspberry)

Plant Info
Also known as: Dwarf Red Blackberry
Family:Rosaceae (Rose)
Life cycle:perennial woody
Habitat:part shade, shade, sun; stream banks, forest or shrub swamps, upland forest, open moist meadows
Bloom season:May - June
Plant height:4 to 6 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACW MW: FACW NCNE: FACW
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: 6-petals

[photo of flowers] 1 to 3 stalked flowers at tips of new stems and arising from upper leaf axils, typically white or occasionally light pink, 1/3 to ½ inch across, with 5 (occasionally 6 or 7) narrowly paddle-shaped petals that are mostly widest above the middle, erect and often curly. In the center is a short column of numerous erect stamens, the same color as the petals, surrounding a cluster of pistils.

[photo of glandular sepals and stalks] The 5 sepals are narrowly lance-triangular, shorter than the petals and strongly bent back (reflexed). Sepals and flower stalks are moderately to densely covered with fine, glandular hairs.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: compound Leaf type: palmate

[photo of leaves] Leaves are alternate and compound with three leaflets (ternate). Leaflets are 1¼ to 3 inches long, ¾ to 2 inches wide, lance-elliptic, the center leaflet short-stalked and mostly diamond-shaped, the lateral leaflets stalkless, sometimes lobed, tapering to a pointed tip, the base wedge shaped to round, the compound leaf stalk hairy and ¾ to 3 inches long. Leaflet edges are usually double-toothed. The upper surface is sparsely hairy to smooth, lower surface hairy. At the base of the leaf stalk is a pair of leafy appendages (stipules) that are ¼ to ½ inch long, generally elliptic, widest above or below the middle. Stems are herbaceous, developing from a woody crown or short 1-year-old vegetative stem, smooth to moderately hairy, and lack prickles or thorns of any kind. Flowering stems are mostly erect, up to 12 inches long; vegetative stems are slender runners along the ground to 8 feet long, often rooting at the nodes.

Fruit: Fruit type: berry/drupe

[photo of fruit] Fruit is round cluster, ¼ to ½ inch in diameter, of fleshy druplets, turning red to dark red when mature, and tasty!


Dwarf Raspberry is fairly common throughout much of Minnesota in both forest and open meadow or shrub habitats. While its principal means of reproduction and spread is by its long vegetative runners that leave small rooted woody crowns at its nodes, and become the start for new plants the following year, you'll rarely if ever find it in dense colonies like many other Rubus species. Vegetative clumps might be mistaken for Wild Strawberry (Fragaria species), though raspberry leaves are more sharply pointed with double teeth. Also similar is the related Arctic Raspberry (Rubus arcticus), which has consistently pink to purplish flowers up to 1 inch across and smooth to sparsely hairy leaves and stems. The fruit is unmistakably a raspberry and, while never producing a heavy crop that can be harvested, the few scattered berries found here and there are pretty tasty.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin, Anoka, Hubbard, Lake and St. Louis counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Jeanne P - Winton, MN
on: 2017-07-24 18:37:43

Interesting berry! Very different from raspberry

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