Silver Bramble – Rubus ludwigii

Silver Bramble, Rubus ludwigii, is a small, 1 to 3 meters tall, fruit bearing, thickish shrub or bush with woody stems and lots of prickles, native to the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. Silver Bramble is a very uncommon plant in cultivation.

Rubus ludwigii leaves are dark green shiny in front with woolly silvery-green undersides, compound, 12cm long with 5-7 leaflets and sharply toothed. Fresh or dried leaf is used to make herbal tea. The white or pink flowers are bisexual, born in clusters in spring, 2cm in diameter, with bracts as big as flower and colored spikes. They are followed by tight bunches of fruit.

Silver Bramble Fruit

Silver Bramble fruit is a type of white powdered, raspberry shaped, dark purple with a bluish blush ‘blackberry’. Silver Bramble is not botanically a berry, but an aggregate of drupes. It is edible and tasty, eaten fresh or made into jams, wine, juice and used cooked in desserts. Birds will also feed on the nutritious fruits in autumn while some mammals will feed on both fruit and leaf.

Silver Bramble Propagation Methods

Plant propagation is mostly by seed in the wild. The plant is very rare in cultivation. It could be useful for raspberry breeding. The powdered plant root is used medicinally. The Zulu and the Swati people take the powdered root in water to ease stomach-ache. They administer a decoction of the root when there is acute pain during an illness. Rubus ludwigii is a member of the family Rosaceae the genus Rubus.

Silver Bramble, Rubus ludwigii

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