There are several species of the Rubtis found wild in various parts of Asia, Europe, and America, some of which have upright stems, others prostrate; the American Stone Bramble, and also the common Blackberry, Dewberry, Cloudberry, etc. are of this family. The Rubtis idaeus, or common Raspberry, grows spontaneously in the province of New Brunswick, and in various parts of the United States, but most of the cultivated varieties are supposed to have originated in England. Loudon describes the true Raspberry as having "stems which are suffructicose, upright, rising to the height of several feet, and are biennial in duration; but the root is perennial, producing suckers which ripen and drop their leaves one year, and resume their foliage, produce blossom shoots, flower, and fruit, and die the next. The leaves are quinate-pinnate; the flowers come in panicles from the extremity of the present year's shoots; they are white, appear in May and June, and the fruit forms about a fortnight afterward."
The fruit is grateful to most palates, as nature presents it, but sugar improves the flavour; accordingly it is much esteemed when made into sweetmeats, and for jams, tarts, and sauces. It is fragrant, sub-acid, and cooling; allays heat and thirst. It is much used in distilling. "Raspberry syrup is next to the Strawberry in dissolving the tartar of the teeth; and as, like that fruit, it does not undergo the acetous fermentation in the stomach, it is recommended to gouty and rheumatic patients."
Nicol enumerates twenty-three species and varieties of the cultivated Raspberry, and twenty-one of the Rubus ronce, or Bramble; in the latter is included the American Red and Black Raspberry, the Long Island and Virginian Raspberry; also the Ohio Ever-Bearing, and the Pennsylvania Raspberry. The English varieties are, early Small White; Large White; Large Red; most Large Red Antwerp; Large Yellow Antwerp; Cane, or smooth-stalked; Twice-bearing White; Twice-bearing Red; Smooth Cane, twice-bearing; Woodward's Raspberry; Monthly, or Four Season; Dwarf Red Cane; Victoria Raspberry; Large Red Franconia; Mason's Red Cluster; McKeen's Scarlet Prolific; Chili Red; Cornish Red; Cox's Honey; Brentford Red; Brentford White; Flesh-coloured; Barnet Red; Bromley Hill;
Cretan Red; Prolific Red; Canada Purple; Rose-flowering, etc.
The varieties can be perpetuated by young sucker shoots, rising plenteously from the root in spring and summer; when these have completed one season's growth, they are proper to detach with roots for planting, either in the autumn of the same year, or the next spring, in March or early in April. These new plants will bear some fruit the first year, and furnish a succession of strong bottom shoots for full bearing the second season. New varieties are raised from seed, and they come into bearing the second year. Some of the American species are cultivated by layers, which produce fruit the same year.
Raspberry beds are in their prime about the third and fourth year; and, if well managed, continue in perfection five or six years, after which they are apt to decline in growth, and the fruit to become small, so that a successive plantation should be provided in time. Select new plants from vigorous stools in full perfection as to bearing. Be careful to favour the twice bearers with a good mellow soil, in a sheltered situation, in order that the second crop may come to perfection.
When Raspberries are cultivated on a large scale, it is best to plant them in beds by themselves, in rows from three to five feet apart, according to the kinds. In small gardens, they may be planted in detached stools, or in single rows, in different parts of the garden, from the most sunny to the most shady aspect, for early and late fruit of improved growth and flavour. It is requisite to cut out the dead stems early in the spring, and to thin and regulate the suc-cessional young shoots; at the same time, the shoots retained should be pruned at the top, below the weak bending part, and some rotten dung worked in around the roots of the plants. Keep them clear of weeds during the summer, by hoeing between the rows; at the same time eradicate all superfluous suckers, but be careful to retain enough for stock in succeeding years.
The Antwerp and other tender varieties of the Raspberry are liable to be more or less injured by the severity of our winters; to prevent which, they should be protected by bending them down to the ground late in autumn, and covering them with earth five or six inches, sloping it off so as to prevent injury from rain or snow.