Rubus cerdicii – Series Rhamnifolii

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This distinctive bramble with showy mauvish-pink flowers was first described in Watsonia Vol. 25 (2004) by David Allen. It is locally frequent throughout much of South Hampshire vice-county and the east half of the Isle of Wight, with an outlier in South Wiltshire. He originally placed it in the Vestiti, later reassigning it to the Rhamnifolii. It is mainly a species of damp heathy ground, also occurring in bogs and fen carr, typically growing in the open. Some of the following description is based on the published account.

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The panicle is either long or broad, but with a smallish compact head of flowers at the top. The rachis is usually flexuose, strongly pubescent, with variable numbers of short-stalked glands, acicles and pricklets within the hairs, especially near the top. There are also a number of slender curved prickles.

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The panicle usually has some trifoliate leaves in which the terminal leaflet is obovate with straight convergent sides (cuneate) below the middle. The undersides are grey-felted.

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Flowers are c.2.5-3cm diameter with mauvish-pink narrow obovate petals c.8-10 x 4-5mm and with stamens a similar colour. The petals are usually irregularly toothed the tip. The stamens are much longer than the styles and the anthers may have occasional hairs and have pink sutures. The styles are yellow, pinkish-tinged below. Carpels and receptacle are glabrous or sometimes? hairy. Sepals are greyish-pubescent, with variable numbers of very short glands and acicles. They are relatively broad with short tips, which are loosely curled upwards at flowering.

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Leaves have 3-5 leaflets which tend to be dark green and glabrous above. The terminal leaflet is c.7-9 x 5-6.5cm, ovate or obovate (or elliptical), with a noticeably short cuspidate apex and emarginate base.

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Leaflets are pale green and pubescent below, but sometimes grey-felted.

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The stem is high-arching, bluntly or moderately sharply angled with flat or slightly furrowed sides, becoming deep purple in full sun. It is sparsely hairy, becoming nearly glabrous, eglandular or with scattered very short-stalked glands (numerous sessile glands). Prickles are longer than the stem, confined to the angles, slender, declining, yellow with a red base.

cerdicii cerdicii