PURPLEFLOWERING OR VIRGINIA RASPBERRY
(Rubus odoratus) Rose family
Flowers - Royal purple or bluish pink, showy, fragrant, 1 to 2
in. broad, loosely clustered at top of stem. Calyx sticky-hairy,
deeply 5-parted, with long pointed tips; corolla of 5 rounded
petals; stamens and pistils very numerous. Stem:
3 to 5 ft. high,
erect, branched, shrubby, bristly, not prickly. Leaves:
Alternate, petioled, 3 to 5 lobed, middle lobe largest, and all
pointed; saw-edged lower leaves immense. Fruit: A depressed red
berry, scarcely edible.
Preferred Habitat - Rocky woods, dells, shady roadsides.
Flowering Season - June-August.
Distribution - Northern Canada south to Georgia, westward to
Michigan and Tennessee.
To be an unappreciated, unloved relative of the exquisite wild
rose, with which this flower is so often likened, must be a
similar misfortune to being the untalented son of a great man, or
the unhappy author of a successful first book never equaled in
later attempts. But where the bright blossoms of the Virginia
raspberry burst forth above the roadside tangle and shady
woodland dells, even those who despise magenta see beauty in them
where abundant green tones all discordant notes into harmony.
Purple, as we of today understand the color, the flower is not;
but rather the purple of ancient Orientals. On cool, cloudy days
the petals are a deep, clear purplish rose, that soon fades and
dulls with age, or changes into pale, bluish pink when the sun is
Many yellow stamens help conceal the nectar secreted in a narrow
ring between the filaments and the base of the receptacle.
Bumblebees, the principal and most efficient visitors, which can
reach sweets more readily than most insects, although numerous
others help to self-fertilize the flower, bring to the mature
stigmas of a newly opened blossom pollen carried on their
undersides from the anthers of a flower a day or two older. When
the inner row of anthers shed their pollen, some doubtless falls
on the stigmas below them, and so spontaneous self-fertilization
may occur. Fruit sets quickly; nevertheless the shrub keeps on
flowering nearly all summer. Children often fold the lower
leaves, which sometimes measure a foot across, to make
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