Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Rubus parvifolius L.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Slender Vine
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Leaves and flowers. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.
Flowers. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.

Linnaeus, C. (1753), Species Plantarum 2: 1197 Type: "Habitat in India Osbeck."

Common name

Native Raspberry, Pink-flowered Native Raspberry, Small-leaf Bramble


Scandent scrambling shrub to 0.5 m tall or prostrate shrub, stems to c. 1 m long. Young stems hairy with stout hooks or straight prickles to 3.5 m long, older stems becoming hairless.


Leaves compound, alternate. Stipules 2, linear, 5.5-12 mm long, attached at junction of petiole to stem. Petiole 11-30 mm long, grooved on upper surface, hairy with prickles. Leaflets sometimes 1-foliolate, usually pinnately compound with 3 to 5 leaflets; lateral leaflets opposite with petiolule 0-3 mm long; terminal leaflet present, larger than laterals and with longer petiolule, 1-19 mm long. Leaflet blades ovate to rhombic, lateral leaves 1-2.6 cm long, 7-2.2 cm wide, terminal leaflet 1.9-4 cm long, 1.7-4.2 cm wide, base cuneate to obtuse, margins irregularly serrate, sometimes biserrate or lobed, apex acute with mucro or obtuse in outline. Pinnately veined with 3-6 pairs of lateral veins, deeply impressed on upper surface, sometimes basal pair of lateral veins with prominent tertiary veins giving a more or less palmate appearance. Upper surface bullate and ± hairless, dark green, lower surface whitish with a dense covering of woolly hairs, curved prickles occasionally present. Domatia absent, glands absent.


Inflorescences terminal or axillary, up to 7 flowers arranged in racemes. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, 5-merous. Pedicels 1-3 cm long. Sepals fused for less than half their length to form a shallow funnel-shaped hypanthium, sepals 8-14 mm long, lobes triangular, spreading to reflexed at anthesis, green, hairy, ± prickles on outer surface. Petals free, orbicular to obovate, clawed, 4-6.5, 3-5 mm wide, pink red or light purple, sparse hairs on both surfaces. Stamens numerous (60-75), shorter than styles, up to 5 mm long and attached to rim of hypanthium. Ovaries superior, 26-38 free carpels, glabrous or pubescent, attached to an elongated receptacle, one ovule per ovary. Style pink.


Fruit a fleshy aggregate made from individual druplets attached to a shared receptacle, ellipsoid to globular, c. 10-15 mm long, 10-12 mm diam., red at maturity, surrounded by persistent sepals. Stone solitary in each drupe, 2.5-3.3 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ (rarely recorded, near Ravenshoe), CEQ and southwards to Tasmania and South Australia.  In and on margins of rainforest communities. Widespread in south eastern Australia.              

Natural History & Notes

A naturally occurring hybrid between Rubus parvifolius and Rubus moluccanus var. trilobus, known as Rubus x novus, has characters intermediate between these two species; the leaves are either simple and deeply 3- or 5-lobed or irregularly 3-foliolate, 2-7.5 cm long, found north from Orbost, Vic., to Mackay, north Qld. This profile information and associated coding has been adapted from Bean (1997), Evans et al.  (2007), and Harden et al. (2014).

Rubus macropodus Ser. ex DC.Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 2: 557 (1825). Type: "in Botany-Bay. (v.s.)". Rubus zahlbrucknerianus Endl. Atakta Botanika 4: t. 35 (1835). Rubus ribesfolius Sieber ex Hook.f., nom. inval., nom. nud. Flora Tasmaniae 1(2): 112, (1856). Rubus walterianus Gand., Bulletin de la Societe Botanique de France 65: 25 (1918). Type: "N.S. Wales ad Wandong Ranges (C. Walter!)". Rubus tasmanicus Gand., Bulletin de la Societe Botanique de France 65: 25 (1918). Type: "Oceania, in Tasmania.". Rubus simsonianus Gand., Bulletin de la Societe Botanique de France 65: 25 (1918). Type: "Oceania in Tasmania (Simson!)". Rubus boormanii Gand., Bulletin de la Societe Botanique de France 65: 25 (1918). Type: "Australia, N.S. Wales ad Awaba (Boorman!)".
RFK Code
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