This is salmonberry’s third appearance on Botany Photo of the Day. Tamara wrote a comprehensive entry on fruit-colour polymorphism in 2015. And, coincidentally, I posted my own scan of a double-flowered plant a decade ago: Rubus spectabilis Double-Flowered Group. Comparing the two scans, I think you’ll see the patience and skill with which Laara accomplishes her work.
In neither of the two previous entries, though, is there a discussion about the native habitats and distribution of Rubus spectabilis. Salmonberry is native to woodlands, woodland edges, bogs, shorelines, roadsides, and disturbed areas (source: Flora of North America) in the rainforests of western North America, occurring in both the coastal rainforests from California to Alaska and the inland rainforests from Idaho to mid-British Columbia. Curiously, the recently-published Flora of North America entry on Rubus spectabilis also suggests it is native to Japan. That was a bit of a headscratcher, so occasional BPotD writer and photographer Eric La Fountaine and I hit the books to see if that is indeed true.
The name makes an appearance in the Japanese flora in Franchet and Savier’s 1875-1879 work, Enumeratio Plantarum Japonicarum. Presumably, they based their understanding on the previous works cited (but I haven’t been able to track digitized versions of these online). The name is again mentioned in 1902, when Matsumara authored Notes on Japanese Rubi (PDF is a part 2); Matsumara documents Rubus spectabilis as occurring in several Japanese prefectures. The 1965 Flora of Japan by Jisaboru Ohwi also mentions the name, but the author asserts that it is a misapplied name for the similar-looking Rubus vernus. In other words, at least a few botanists had incorrectly thought that Rubus vernus was the same as the North American Rubus spectabilis, so were mistakenly using the latter name.
In modern works after 1965, it is difficult to find any mention of Japan (I can only find the Flora of North America entry). Short of learning about a paper where the Japanese Rubus vernus has been lumped into Rubus spectabilis (and there’s nothing I can find on Google Scholar), we concluded that a small error slipped by the Flora of North America editors–but given that it may be the first possible error I’ve noticed in FNA in over a decade of use, I’d say that’s a pretty good record.