Rubus albionis – Series Sylvatici

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This bramble has coastal tendencies, being widespread in south Devon, Dorset and south-west Hampshire, most of coastal Wales and around much of southern Ireland, but is also scattered elsewhere, reaching Lancashire and eastern Kent. It is largely a species of hedgerows, scrub and margins of heaths and moors. Its flowers are very distinctive, having large pale pink petals and long fluffy stamens which are covered with short hairs.

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The inflorescence has a broad head of flowers at the apex, on relatively thick branches which are strongly pubescent but with no short-stalked glands and often with no prickles either. Sepals are thinly white-bordered, loosely reflexed at flowering and have short or moderately long finely-pointed tips.

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Flowers are up to about 3cm diameter. The pale pink colour of the petals is rather subtle and often fades in sunlight after the flowers have opened. These flash shots have altered the colour somewhat, but the pink colour can still be seen on the buds. The elliptical to obovate petals average about 15 x 8mm. The very long, dense stamens are also a pale pink colour which seems to mix with the yellowish and brownish tones of the anthers to produce a distinctive salmon-pink colour which is probably unique to this species. The styles may be yellowish throughout or pink-based.

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This is one of relatively few brambles that have strongly hairy anthers (see also R. errabundus).

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Leaves have five widely-spaced leaflets which are virtually glabrous above and often a yellowish-green colour, tinged bronze, when exposed to the sun. The terminal leaflet is about 11 x 6cm, rather narrowly obovate with nearly straight sides below and a fairly narrow base (i.e. somewhat cuneate). It is typically quite sharply and deeply serrate and is flat or slightly convex.

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Leaflets are thinly pubescent and paler green below.

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The stem is sparsely hairy, bluntly or sharply angled and sometimes furrowed, becoming brownish red in the sun. Prickles are moderately slender, with a yellow point which is sometimes curved at the end.

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