Welcome to the world of Brambles!

In the UK and Ireland there are more than 350 named microspecies of the Rubus fruticosus aggregate, but recording of these is complicated by the fact that in any single county many unnamed entities (local taxa) may occur – by convention scientific names are only published for those occurring more widely. Nonetheless it is a misconception that brambles are a difficult critical group amongst the vascular plants. They have a number of characters that are relatively easy to assess in the field and can be tackled by any competent botanist willing to devote a reasonable amount of time to them. This website (started in 2015) is intended only to give a flavour of the amazing diversity of brambles in the British Isles and hopefully provide some inspiration to botanists hoping to take up the study of British Rubi. Presently, most of the species illustrated are commoner ones found in southern England (photographed mainly in Hampshire, Dorset and West Sussex), but examples of a few more localised ones and unnamed ones are included, and eventually I hope to illustrate 50% of the British flora. This is the first time photographs have ever been published for many of the species shown here.

Some information on identifying the various bramble groups is given on the Rubus classification page. In due course I will add further notes for beginners, but for now the key points to look for are mentioned in the photo captions on the species pages. For further information on studying and identying brambles go to the Rubus study page and see my step by step guide to collecting and pressing brambles.

Viewing photos

If viewing on a desktop computer many of the photos can be clicked to enlarge on the screen (or use Ctrl+mouse scroll to zoom the page); however, there is no need to do this if using a touch screen tablet or smartphone. Just use two fingers to zoom in or out, or double tap to maximise the width of the photo (or text column) on the screen. Photos of flowers and stems have generally been included at higher resolution so that fine details such as hairs and glands may be more easily seen.


I have used general botanical terminology in the descriptions which I expect most botanists will be familiar with, but have sometimes explained the meanings of the less commonly used terms. I hope to add a more detailed glossary in due course. Note that the word stem refers only to the first-year stem or primocane. The inflorescence is produced on the 2nd-year growth, so the stem of the inflorescence is termed the rachis (the main branches of the inflorescence are usually referred to as peduncles and the stalks of individual flowers as pedicels). The whole of the inflorescence with its leaves is colloquially referred to as the panicle. Unless otherwise stated, the descriptions of the leaves are those of the primocane. In a typical bramble leaf there is a terminal leaflet, attached by a petiolule, two lateral leaflets and two basal leafets.


Most of the photos were taken using a Nikon D5300 DSLR digital camera (APS-C sensor 'DX' format) equipped with a Nikkor 28mm F1.8 full-frame lens, producing an effective 42mm focal length. This gives the optimum combination for photographing all the parts of the plant in the field, except for the largest leaves or to clearly show hairs on anthers. The D5300 also has built-in GPS, useful for checking grid references of plants. The flash shots were taken with the camera's built-in flash.

Contact information

All photographs are copyright. Please contact me (John Norton) if you would like to use any photos in any way or link this page in your website. Many of the photos are available at high resolution for publishing. See my home page for contact details. I would also be pleased to receive comments or feedback on this site. See also the Facebook group.

Alphabetical index

(go to Taxonomic index)

Rubus adenoleucus – Section Corylifolii

Rubus albionis – Series Sylvatici

Rubus altiarcuatus – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus anglobelgicus – Series Anisacanthi

Rubus armeniacus – Series Discolores

Rubus armipotens – Series Discolores

Rubus arrheniiformis – Section Rubus

Rubus atrebatum – Series Hystrices

Rubus averyanus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus asperidens – Series Hystrices

Rubus bertramii – Section Rubus

Rubus bercheriensis – Series Hystrices

Rubus bloxamii – Series Radulae

Rubus boulayi – Series Sylvatici

Rubus caesius – Section Caesii

Rubus calvatus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus cantianus – Series Radulae

Rubus cantabrigiensis – Section Corylifolii

Rubus canadensis – Section Rubus

Rubus cardiophyllus – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus cerdicii – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus chloophyllus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus cissburiensis – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus conjungens – Section Corylifolii

Rubus conspersus – Series Vestiti

Rubus curvispinosus – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus dasyphyllus – Series Hystrices

Rubus davisii – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus dentatifolius – Series Anisacanthi

Rubus divaricatus – Section Rubus

Rubus dumnoniensis – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus durotrigum – Series Hystrices

Rubus echinatus – Series Radulae

Rubus elegantispinosus – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus euryanthemus – Series Radulae

Rubus errabundus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus flexuosus – Series Radulae

Rubus Forest of Bere salteri – Series Sylvatici

Rubus fuscicaulis – Series Radulae

Rubus glareosus – Series Micantes

Rubus hantonensis – Series Micantes

Rubus imbricatus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus insectifolius – Series Radulae

Rubus laciniatus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus lasiodermis – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus leucostachys – Series Vestiti

Rubus leightonii – Series Micantes

Rubus leucandriformis – Series Sylvatici

Rubus leyanus – Series Anisacanthi

Rubus lindleianus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus macrophyllus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus marshallii – Series Hystrices

Rubus micans – Series Micantes

Rubus melanodermis – Series Micantes

Rubus moylei – Series Micantes

Rubus milfordensis – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus morganwgensis – Series Anisacanthi

Rubus mucronatiformis – Series Mucronati

Rubus nemoralis – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus nemorosus – Section Corylifolii

Rubus nessensis – Section Rubus

Rubus pedemontanus – Series Glandulosi

Rubus permundus – Series Sprengeliani

Rubus pistoris – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus phaeocarpus – Series Hystrices

Rubus platyacanthus – Series Sylvatici

Rubus plicatus – Section Rubus

Rubus polyanthemus – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus prolongatus – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus pruinosus – Section Corylifolii

Rubus purbeckensis – Series Sylvatici

Rubus pyramidalis – Series Sylvatici

Rubus questieri – Series Sylvatici

Rubus rossensis – Series Discolores

Rubus rubritinctus – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus rudis – Series Radulae

Rubus rufescens – Series Radulae

Rubus scaber – Series Glandulosi

Rubus scabripes – Series Hystrices

Rubus scissus – Section Rubus

Rubus sectiramus – Series Radulae

Rubus sprengelii – Series Sprengeliani

Rubus subinermoides – Series Rhamnifolii

Rubus subintegribasis – Series Sylvatici

Rubus surrejanus – Series Vestiti

Rubus tuberculatus – Section Corylifolii

Rubus thyrsigeriformis – Series Hystrices

Rubus ulmifolius – Series Discolores

Rubus vestitus – Series Vestiti

Rubus vigorosus – Section Rubus

Rubus winteri – Series Discolores