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Montana Field Guides

Nagoonberry - Rubus arcticus
Other Names:  Rubus acaulis

Species of Concern

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 10

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rubus acaulis may be rare or common where its habitat is present. However, its habitat (hummocks in Sphagnum-moss dominated fens, high elevation wet-meadows, etc.) is very specific and often limited in Montana.
General Description
Plants: Perennial herb from a rhizome, seldom a little woody at the base; stems annual, upright, low-growing, unarmed (Douglas et al. 1999), glabrous to sparsely and finely hairy, 5-30 cm in length (FNA 2015).

Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, long-petioled, 2-5 per stem, with 3 lobes or leaflets; lobes or leaflets glabrous to hairy above, paler green and commonly hairy beneath (the veins generally with more hair), the margins coarsely dentate or bidentate; leaflets, when present, 10–50 mm long (Douglas et al. 1999); stipules ovate or narrowly so, 0.4-0.8 cm in length (FNA 2015).

Inflorescence: Axillary (FNA 2015), with 1-3 flowers at the end of leafy shoots (Douglas et al. 1999); pedicels smooth to somewhat hairy, with glands lacking or stipitate (FNA 2015).

Flowers May-August (FNA 2015).

Range Comments
Canada: In all provinces and territories except NB, NS, and PE; USA: WA and OR, MT s to CO, MN, MI, and ME (FNA 2015).

Boggy woods, fens, swamps, brush, damp tundra, alpine creek edges and grassy areas. Elevation: To 9840 feet (FNA 2015).

Reproductive Characteristics
Flowers: Bisexual (FNA 2015); sepals 5, 5-13 mm in length, slenderly lanceolate, reflexed, with fine hair, occasionally glandular; petals 5, pink to purplish-red, obovate or narrower (Douglas et al. 1999), 8–25 mm in length (FNA 2015); stamens 30-40 (Douglas et al. 1999), with outer filaments widened at the base, the inner ones thread-like; pistils (10)15-30, smooth to slightly hairy (FNA 2015).

Fruit: A red or purple globose aggregate of 1-seeded, juicy drupelets, ca 1 cm across, the drupelets pulling away from the receptacle when ripe (thus referred to as a raspberry) (Douglas et al. 1999).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, editors. 1999. The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 4. Dicotyledons (Orobanchaceae through Rubiaceae). British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 2015. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 9. Magnoliophyta: Picramniaceae to Rosaceae. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc. 752 pp.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Nagoonberry — Rubus arcticus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from