World Plants Logo

search the world

Woody > Rubus > Rubus idaeus > Rubus idaeus var. strigosus

Rubus idaeus

var. strigosus

Wild Red Raspberry

Origin:  North America, particularly in the Boreal forest.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


Rubus idaeus var. strigosus is a hardy shrub native to North America. It is an native, aggressive species commonly known as the wild red raspberry, and is recognized for its tolerance to diverse conditions. There are many cultivars of this species, some of which include 'Aureus', 'Fallgold', 'Heritage', 'Improved Titan', Kiwigold',and 'Taylor.' Because it is so widespread, it has become a beneficial contributor for various purposes in culinary, practical and medicinal fields alike. While, most of the plant can be used in these ways, it is not only attractive to people but also wildlife as well including butterflies, bees, squirrels, birds, foxes, coyotes, bears and more.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Shrub (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
-4 - 30
Temperature (°F)
25 - 86
1-2 m
1.5-2 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
It forms a dense thicket since it is invasive/vigorous in part due to its adaptability and tolerance of various growing conditions.
The wild red raspberry is a plant that populates many habitats, open and disrupted alike, and is often found to be part of the natural landscape of North America. Its ability to adapt to various conditions ensures it is very widespread.
It grows in areas of full sun to partial shade and has a tolerance for a wide range of soil pH levels and types although it does flourish in slightly acidic, sandy loams. It also prefers relatively moist soils however, excessive moisture can cause root rot.
It forms an upright shrub that becomes quite dense and nearly as wide in diameter as in height.
ID Characteristic
Three key identification characteristics of the wild red raspberry are its distinct red fruit in summer, its consistent green leaf colour which does not change in the autumn and the increasingly smoother texture of the floricane as it ages.
The crown and cane borer is listed as potentially damaging pest and anthracnose and botrytis are common diseases that may be cause for concern.
The wild red raspberry grows naturally throughout Canada and the United States of America. It grows specifically near woodland and shaded edges, thickets, hedgerows and moist neglected lands and is common in the Boreal forests of North America
Bark/Stem Description
The stems of the wild red raspberry, better known as the canes, change dramatically over the years. Primocanes are blueish green in colour and are covered with prickles and bristle-like hairs. As the canes mature they become a purplish-brown colour until, eventually they lose their outer skin (the bristles) and become very smooth and a solid brown colour. They canes are sturdy and slightly arching, forming a dense thicket.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
The bud is fairly small, red in colour and is encapsulated with thin bud scales.
Leaf Description
The red raspberry has alternate, pinnately compound leaves with 3-4 ovate leaflets and 1 terminal leaflet on primocanes and 3 leaflets on older canes. The leaves are rather thick and slightly pubescent, with an irregular, serrated margin. They are deep green in colour, with a greyish-silver underside and approximately 2-10 cm in length. Note: a mild tea may be brewed from the leaves.
Flower Description
The blooms of the wild red raspberry are white petaled flowers with a diameter of approximately 6-12 mm. Each flower has 5 petals with multiple pistils and stamens. They are present on the lateral branches of the shrub and are arranged in clusters of 2-5 blossoms, with the clusters slightly drooping. Typically the flowering period ranges from late May-July depending on growing conditions.
Fruit Description
The fruit of the wild red raspberry ripen in the later summer months, notably July-August. They consist of a cluster of aggregates 1 cm in size, and each aggregate contains numerous individual fruits known as drupelets. As they mature, they become juicy and red in colour. The fruit is quite tasty and may be used in jams and preserves. Also, unlike Rubus fruticosus, the fruit when picked easily separates from its conical receptacle.
Colour Description
The wild red raspberry has green leaves with a silver underside. The canes of this raspberry change in colour as they age, primocanes are glaborous; however, within a couple years they become a purplish-brown and finally a solid brown colour. The blooms are whitish-cream in colour; while the mature fruit is a vibrant red.
Texture Description
It is a relatively coarse textured plant.
Methods of propagation for this plant include seeds and cuttings. Seeds are planted in the early autumn, taking approximately 1 month to germinate at about 3°C. Hardwood cuttings are taken in the winter and are planted the following spring.
Dirr, Michael A. 'Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses.' Stipes Publishing L.L.C. 2009. Szczawinski, Adam F; Turner, Nancy J. 'Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada: Canada's Edible Wild Plants Series, Vol.3.' Fitzhenry & Whiteside/the National Museum of Natural Sciences. 1998.