Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Rubus alceifolius Poir.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Poiret, J.L.M. (1804) Encyclopedie Methodique, Botanique 6 : 247. Type: Java, 1766 - 1769, P. Commerson s.n.; holo: P-JU.

Common name

Giant Bramble; Raspberry


Usually flowers and fruits as a scrambler or weak-stemmed shrub about 2-4 m tall but can also attain the dimensions and form of a vine. Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded.


Twigs and stems clothed in recurved spines. Stipules hairy, margins fimbriate, stipules about 10-25 mm long. Leaf blade about 15-17 x 15 cm, the margins both toothed and lobed, petioles about 6-8 cm long. Underside of the leaf blade and petiole armed with recurved spines. Both surfaces of the leaf blade clothed in hairs but the lower surface densely clothed in matted hairs so that the underside appears almost white.


Calyx lobes fimbriate, clothed in golden +/- erect hairs. Petals glabrous, orbicular, about 10 mm diam. Pollen white. Ovaries glabrous, attached to a globular receptacle. One ovule per ovary. Styles white, about 10 mm long.


Calyx lobes green and hairy, persistent at the base of the fruit. Aggregate fruit about 1.5-2 cm diam. Fruiting carpels with a persistent style at the apex. Outer surface of the endocarp rugose or almost spinose.


Cotyledons elliptic or oblong, about 3.5-4 x 3.5-4 mm, margins ciliate. First pair of leaves simple, hairy (hairs glandular) margins lobed, petioles almost as long as the leaf blades, arising just above the cotyledons. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- cordate, margin toothed and lobed. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade, petiole and stem clothed in pale coloured hairs. Stipules about 15-20 mm long, fimbriate and hairy. Spines often present on the stem, petiole and midrib. Seed germination time 31 to 68 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Usually grows in disturbed areas in lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia. Sometimes regarded as an introduced species but further work is needed to confirm this view.

Natural History & Notes

This species may have medicinal properties.

RFK Code
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