Rubus ellipticus var. obcordatus

Douglas Justice continues to share photos from his recent trip to China. He writes:

My recent trip to China seems like a bit of a dream now. A group of us toured southern Yunnan Province, primarily to observe magnolias in the wild; however, the attendant vegetation, both native and non-native, the agriculture and the landscape in general, were to me equally fascinating. I was particularly taken with the diversity of the many Rubus (bramble) species I saw. Delightful as they all were, we (at the Botanical Garden) long ago learned our lesson regarding exotic rubi. Many are extraordinarily opportunistic and potentially invasive. For example, we’ve been fighting the spread of Rubus simplex since its introduction here in 1982. It was innocently collected on a botanical expedition to Hubei and distributed to a number of gardens, but here, it is a potential menace and we’ve been careful to remove it whenever we see it.

This species, known as huang sou mei (golden lock berry) according to a Chinese speaker on staff here at UBC, is an attractive spreading shrub with distinctive leaves, and amber fruits reminiscent of Rubus spectabilis (salmon berry). The shrub photograph was taken (in a break between torrential downpours) by a roadside in the Fadou Nature Reserve in Xichou County (Wenshan Prefecture), and the basket of fruits some 250 km to the north in the market near the Stone Forest (south of Kunming). I am only sorry I did not taste them.

Rubus ellipticus var. obcordatus
Rubus ellipticus var. obcordatus

15 responses to “Rubus ellipticus var. obcordatus”

  1. Marilyn Brown

    You’ll have to go back so you can taste them and tell us ! They look delicious and berry, berry beautiful.

  2. phillip

    i read the whole post assuming that the last sentence would be about the flavor…but no…. so my mind is talking to itself..”sweet ?”..”tart ?” “fruty ?” “like a blackberry ?”….lol………
    great close-up

  3. Barbara with a T

    I love the photo, a great closeup.

  4. Carolina

    I was also expecting to know how it tastes! Hope you can post about it some other time…

  5. Annie Morgan

    I thought they were orange raspberries! LOL

  6. Alison

    I imagine the berries to be sweet, delicate and fragrant when eaten.

  7. Bob Wilson

    The close-up is nice, but I was more intrigued by the bright orange basket of berries. My mouth is already watering…but what will the flavor be? Perhaps we should have an informal poll to see who can most accurately guess the flavor. I’ll bet they taste just like oranges.

  8. eepy

    Will they grow here in the BC lower mainland?

  9. Elizabeth Rall

    I am a relatively new serious Gardener and I LOVE this site! I can’t wait for my new daily post! I have learned so much. Thank you all, for both the pictures and the comments. I think the berries are sweet, tart and a burst of flavor like fireworks.

  10. Talesha Jarrett says “Rubus ellipticus is one of the tastiest wild fruits… The fruits are sweet with a pleasant blend of acidity. They have raspberry flavour and possess excellent eating quality.”

  11. Douglas Justice

    Now I’m really sorry I didn’t taste them!

  12. Melissa in Florence, S.C.

    I wonder if the taste IS related to salmon berries — they look just like them — they’re all over SouthEast Alaska — salmon berries are very juicy, squishy, mildly sweet, with just a little acidic knack, but not like citrus. I think they taste best when added gently to a fruit salad. They seem to bring out the flavor of the other fruits.

  13. Dr Devesh Singh

    Nepal’s hills are full of these berries.We call it
    Sping season is when you get them.You find them along with the red rhodedendrons.They have a soury sweet taste,splendid aroma and a bit gritty like strawberries when you chew them otherwise it melts in your mouth.
    You find it in the wild.Propogation is very easy,but we let it be in the wild because it is fun pick-eating avoiding the thorny shrub.

  14. himani singh

    sorry i didn’t taste it
    but the closeup of rubus is vry nice
    nd i will b taste in future

  15. Kai

    I know this plant, the fruits have sweet and sour juice with beautiful raspberry flavor.

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