Rubus prolongatus – Series Rhamnifolii

 back to Alphabetical index · Taxonomic index

This bramble is particularly common in Mid and South Wales and south-west England, but also occurs in Ireland and is locally frequent as far east as the New Forest in Hampshire, with outliers in Sussex and Kent. It occurs in most types of bramble habitats, particulary in hedgerows and on heaths. It has a number of distinctive characters including pale pink flowers with long bushy stamens, coarsely hairy stems, thickly pubescent floral branches and sharply serrate glabrous leaflets which are almost white-felted below. The mature foliage is often generally a dark greyish-green colour.

prolongatus

Flowers are relatively large, up to about 3cm across. The petals are a delicate shade of pink, but can fade to a creamy white colour and are often shallowly notched (or a bit ragged at the tip). Styles are pale green. Sepals are long-pointed and become reflexed after flowering. Short-stalked glands are occasionally found in the panicle and are rare on the stems.

prolongatus prolongatus prolongatus prolongatus

In the photo below the petals are clearly pale pink in bud but almost white when fully opened - a characteristic of many pale pink flowered species.

prolongatus

The rachis and other floral branches are densely pubescent. A fairly distinctive feature is the frequent presence of short stubby prickles on the rachis (though not visible in the photo below).

prolongatus

This is one bramble where the leaves of the panicle (flowering stem) appear quite different from those of the first year stem. The upper panicle leaves consist of a single ovate-shaped leaflet (visible in some of the photos above); the ones lower down are 3-foliate, with a broadly elliptic terminal leaflet (below).

prolongatus

The terminal leaflets of the stem leaves can also differ in appearance, from narrowly to broadly elliptical, or broadly obovate in the oldest leaves. The toothing is usually fairly coarse and irregular. The leaflet apex varies from cuspidate (abruptly short-pointed) to long acuminate.

prolongatus prolongatus prolongatus prolongatus

All of the panicle and stem leaflets are greyish-white to almost white felted below.

prolongatus prolongatus

The densely pubescent stems also help distinguish this species from members of the Discolores, some of which have greyish-white rather than pure white felted leaves. The prickles are about the same length as the width of the stem, but some shorter, stubbier ones are usually present.

prolongatus prolongatus prolongatus