Herbs & Plants

Rubus chamaemorus

Botanical Name : Rubus chamaemorus
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Species: R. chamaemorus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names : Cloudberry , Cloud Berry, Bakeapple Berry, Ground Mulberry

Bakeapple (in Newfoundland and Labrador), Knotberry and knoutberry (in England), Aqpik or low-bush salmonberry (in Alaska – not to be confused with true salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis), and Averin or Evron (in Scotland).
Habitat : Rubus chamaemorus is native to Northern Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Germany and N. Asia. It grows in cool boggy places, often found amongst bilberries on hills and mountain sides, avoiding shade and calcareous soils.

Rubus chamaemorus is a perennial plant .It grows to 10–25 cm (4-10 inches) high. The leaves alternate between having 5 and 7 soft, handlike lobes on straight, branchless stalks. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September . After pollination, the white (sometimes reddish-tipped) flowers form raspberry-sized aggregate fruits. Encapsulating between 5 and 25 drupelets, each fruit is initially pale red, ripening into an amber color in early autumn.

The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant is not self-fertile.

Unlike most Rubus species, the cloudberry is dioecious, and fruit production by a female plant requires pollination from a male plant.

Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Avoids calcareous soils in the wild and is often found in boggy soils. Considered to be a gourmet fruit, it is occasionally sold in speciality stores. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn

Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit.
Edible Uses: Tea.………Fruit – raw or cooked. Sour but delicious, the fruit can be eaten out of hand or stewed, used in preserves, pies etc. Rich in vitamin C. The sweet fruit tastes like baked apples. Flowers – raw. The fresh or dried leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Alcoholic drinks:
In Nordic countries, traditional liqueurs such as Lakkalikööri (Finland) are made of cloudberry, having a strong taste and high sugar content. Cloudberry is used as a spice for making akvavit. In northeastern Quebec, a cloudberry liqueur known as chicoutai (aboriginal name) is made.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the roots has been used as ‘woman’s medicine’. A decoction of the root and lower stem has been used by barren women to try and become pregnant. The root has been used in the treatment of coughs, fevers and consumption.

Other Uses:...Dye.……A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit.

Cultural references:
The cloudberry appears on the Finnish version of the 2 euro coin.  The name of the hill Beinn nan Oighreag in Breadalbane in the Scottish Highlands means “Hill of the Cloudberries” in Scots Gaelic.

The berry is called Bakeapple in Newfoundland. One explanation for the name suggests it is derived from the French term “Baie Qu’Appelle”, meaning “What is this berry called?

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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