Raspberry, the name (of very doubtful derivation) of fruit-bearing shrubs of the genus rubus, of the order rosacea or rose family. The genus consists of shrubs or half-shrubby (and a few herbaceous) perennial plants, with mostly compound leaves; the lobes of the bractless calyx persistent; petals five; stamens and pistils numerous; the ovaries containing two ovules, and in fruit becoming one-seeded pulpy drupes, which cohere in a head or cluster above the open calyx. It is one of those genera in which the species are so variable that their number has been unduly increased by local botanists; over 500 have been described, but there are probably not more than 100 good species. The genus rubus includes both the raspberries and the blackberries; in the former the drupes cohere, and when ripe fall away from the dry receptacle, or in some species there are only a few grains which fall separately, while in the latter the drupes remain attached to the receptacle. Our native raspberries are divided into three sections : 1. With simple leaves, large flowers, plant without prickles, and the fruit very flat and broad.
To this section belongs what is called in this country the rose-flowering, and in England the Virginia raspberry, R. odoratus; it is about 5 ft. high, with ample three- to five-lobed leaves, which as well as the young shoots are viscid with glandular bristly hairs; the flowers, of a rich rose-purple color, are about 2 in. across; the fruit, which is variable, is sometimes an inch broad, very flat, reddish, with a rather pleasant flavor, though dry. This is found in rocky places from Canada to the mountains of Georgia, and is sometimes seen in cultivation, though not so often as it deserves; its large flowers, varying in depth of color, appear much like single roses, and it blooms at midsummer, when but few shrubs are in flower. The white-flowering raspberry, R. Nutkanus, was first discovered at Nootka on the N. W. coast, but has later been found to extend as far east as upper Michigan; among other differences from the foregoing, it is not bristly and has white flowers. The Rocky mountain bramble, R. deliciosus, is hairy, and has smaller leaves and larger flowers than either of the preceding; it has recently been introduced into gardens, and will be popular on account of its abundant flowers, which are pure white, and have a peculiarly delicate texture; the specific name was given it by Torrey, from the accounts of the fruit given by the discoverer Dr. James; but it proves to be very indifferent.
Belonging to the same section is the cloudberry, R. chamoemorus, a low, creeping, nearly herbaceous, dioecious, subalpine species, with white flowers, and a few amber-colored, very large grains; it is also a European species, and is found throughout arctic America, on the "White mountains above the tree line, and at Mount Desert and other points on the eastern coast, where its fruit is called the baked-apple berry. 2. The second section comprises low, mostly herbaceous, and unimportant species. 3. Species with biennial, woody, and prickly stems, and three to five foliolate compound leaves. The common wild red raspberry is found from Newfoundland to Oregon, and as far south as the middle states. The upright stems are bristly and prickly; the leaves, with three to five oblong-ovate, serrate leaflets, are covered on the under side with a white down; the petals as long as the sepals, the fruit light red. This species is abundant northward, especially on recently cleared lands, where it produces fruit in great profusion all summer.
The garden raspberry of Europe, R. Idoeus, is so very near this that it is difficult to find good botanical characters to separate them; this species has been improved by raising seedlings under cultivation; varieties derived from it are the Allen, Kirtland, scarlet, and others. The plant propagates itself abundantly by underground stems, which run beneath the surface for several feet and appear above ground as suckers; these stems grow to their full height, 5 or 6 ft., in one season, bear their fruit the next summer, and then die; the European raspberry has a similar manner of growth, and the cultivation of the varieties of this species is the same as given below for that. - The black raspberry, R. occidentalis, also called blackcaps and thimbleberry, is more widely distributed than the red, extending as far south as Georgia; it has prickly stems with a glaucous bloom; leaflets mostly three and white underneath: the petals shorter than the sepals; the fruit black, with whitish varieties, ripe in July, drier than the red, and with a distinct and peculiar flavor.
In manner of growth this is very different from the red raspberry; it makes no distant suckers, but new shoots spring up from the base of the old plant, and late in summer the branches, which grow very long, become recurved, until finally their tips reach the ground, where they take root and form new plants; in cultivation this process is aided by covering the ends of the branches with a little earth. Within the past 20 years much attention has been given to cultivating varieties of this species, and they are now very popular. Among the cultivated sorts are Doo-little's, Seneca, Davidson's thornless, Miami or Mammoth cluster, and the whitecap. In cultivating for fruit, the stems are stopped by pinching when about 3 ft high, and the side branches are also stopped, forming a compact branched bush, which will bear a great quantity of fruit; but if it is desired to multiply plants, the branches are allowed to grow, bend over, and reach the ground as described above. - There is a set of native raspberries which appear to have escaped the attention of botanists, but are well known to cultivators as the purple-cane family; the plants have the habit of growth of the black, but the fruit, though dark-colored, resembles in form and flavor the red raspberry; it has been suggested that these have originated by hybridizing the black and red species.
They are not so high-flavored as the red kinds, but as they bear profusely and do not sucker, they are better adapted to small gardens; the varieties are purple cane, Cata-wissa, Ellisdale, and a few others. - The garden raspberry, R. Idoeus, so named from Mount Ida, is found all over Europe and in Russian Asia; it only differs from our native red species in being a taller plant, with thicker leaves and firmer, larger, and better fruit. This species was cultivated by the Romans in the 4th century, and the oldest English writers on rural matters mention it, some giving both a red and a white kind. There are over 50 varieties in the fruit lists, very few of which are generally cultivated; among the most popular kinds are those which have been raised in this country from seed. The berry with which the New York market is mainly supplied is the Hudson River Antwerp, a red variety of unknown (though supposed English) origin; immense quantities are brought from various localities along the Hudson, and it has not yet been superseded by any other; among the other popular varietics of this class are Belle de Fon-tenay (with many synonymes), Clarke, Downing, Fastolff, Franconia, Hornet, Brinckle's orange, and Philadelphia. The last named is by some regarded as a native; it is a great bearer even on poor soils, and, though not of first quality, is one of the most profitable.
These varieties are propagated by suckers, which most of them produce in abundance; after the sucker has grown a year it is separated from the parent plant, and, its stem being cut back to a few inches, is taken up for planting. A plantation is made in autumn or very early in the spring, setting the plants, according to the vigor of the variety, 4 to 6 ft. apart each way; two or three shoots are allowed to grow from the plant the first season, and not more than six thereafter; they are supported by tying to stakes, or to wires stretched along the rows; the shoots bear fruit the second year, and at the same time new shoots are produced; as soon as the fruit is gathered the old canes are cut out, and the new ones, which will fruit the following year, are cared for, all surplus shoots being removed. All the foreign varieties in the northern states (and they do not succeed in the southern) need to be covered in winter.
European Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus).