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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Rubus hispidus (Bristly dewberry)
Smith, R.W.

Rubus hispidus

Rubus hispidus L.

Bristly Dewberry, Swamp Dewberry

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Synonym(s): Rubus hispidus var. cupulifer, Rubus hispidus var. obovalis, Rubus sempervirens


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Trailing, woody stems bearing weak, backward-curving bristles, erect branches, usually 3-parted, shiny leaves, and white flowers in loose, terminal clusters or in leaf axils.

A great many species of dewberry occur, some with bristles and some with stronger prickles. These plants and the related blackberries and raspberries (both in Rubus) are among the most important summer foods for songbirds and game birds as well as for many mammals.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Aggregate , Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 8 inches tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green
Fruit: Black or red aggregated drupelets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: CT , DC , DE , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Ontario east to Nova Scotia, south to South Carolina, west to Tennessee, and north to Iowa and Wisconsin.
Native Habitat: Usually moist thickets, open woods, and clearings.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low


Warning: Plant has thorns or prickles.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1985 VOL. 2, NO.1 - A Glorious Spring, Lupines in Landscapes, Director's Report, Notable Quote, Wild...
Wildflower Newsletter 1985 VOL. 2, NO.2 - Guide to Black-Eyed Susan, Parkways, Wildflowers for the East, Arboretum Mall to...
Wildflower Newsletter 1987 VOL. 4, NO.3 - Fall Planting Highlights the Season, Jubilee Celebration Commences December 1987...
Wildflower Newsletter 1987 VOL. 4, NO.4 - Wildflower Center Sows Seeds for the Country, Hotline for Texas, New Goals Plans...
Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.5 - Naturalistic Landscaping Takes Careful Planning, Director\'s Report, Breaking th...
Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.6 - Wildflower Center Featured Non-Profit in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, Dana Leav...
Wildflower Newsletter 1995 VOL. 12, NO.2 - Wildflower Center Opens April 8th through 9th, Grand Opening Schedule of Events,...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Rubus hispidus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rubus hispidus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rubus hispidus


Record Modified: 2023-05-11
Research By: TWC Staff

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