Rubus Idaeus (U. S. P.)—Raspberry.
"The fruit of Rubus Idaeus, Linné"—(U. S. P.), and fruit and leaves of Rubus strigosus, Michaux.
COMMON NAMES: (1) Raspberry, (2) Red raspberry.
Botanical Source.—Rubus Idaeus. This plant grows to a height of 6 feet. The young branches are glaucous, somewhat bristly and spinous, with odd-pinnate leaves, bearing 1, 2, or 3 pairs of serrate, ovate, sessile, whitish, pubescent leaflets. The flower-petals are white, about the length of the calyx-lobes, and 5 in number. The plant is believed to be derived from the following plant.
Rubus strigosus, Michaux, is a shrubby, strongly hispid plant, about 4 feet in height. The leaves are pinnately 3 or 5-foliate; the leaflets oblong-ovate or oval, obtuse at base, pointed, coarsely and unequally serrate, green above, canescent tomentose beneath, lateral ones sessile, odd one often subcordate at base, and distinctly petiolate, 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches long, and about one-third to two-thirds as wide. The flowers are white, and borne in panicled corymbs. Corolla cup-shaped, about the length of the calyx. Fruit a red berry, hemispherical, composed of many juicy, 1-seeded acini, on a dry receptacle, of a rich, delicious flavor (W.).
History and Description.—Rubus Idaeus, or cultivated raspberry, is indigenous to Europe and to Asia, eastward to Japan, where the red raspberry is likewise found. The Red raspberry grows wild, and is common to Canada and the northern United States, growing in hedges, neglected fields, thickets, and hills, flowering in May, and ripening its fruit from June to August. The leaves and fruit are the medicinal parts. The leaves impart their properties to water, giving to the infusion an odor and flavor somewhat similar to that of some kinds of black tea. The U. S. P. describes Rubus Idaeus fruit as follows: "Deprived of the conical receptacle, and, therefore, hollow at the base; hemispherical, red, finely hairy, composed of from 20 to 30 coalesced, small drupes, each one crowned with the withered style; juice red; of an agreeable odor, and a pleasant, acidulous taste. The closely allied, light-red fruit of Rubus strigosus, Michaux, and the purplish-black fruit of Rubus occidentalis, Linné, may be employed in place of the above"—(U. S. P.). The Rubus occidentalis is the Black raspberry, or Thimbleberry, common in waste places and fence corners from Canada to Georgia, and west. Its fruit is inferior to that of the preceding varieties.
Chemical Composition.—According to analysis by Seyffert (Archiv der Pharm., 1879, p. 324), garden raspberries yielded 9 per cent more juice than a wildgrowing variety. Acidity was about equal in both specimens (1.4 per cent). The cultivated variety contained 4.5 per cent of sugar, while the other had only 2.8 per cent (referred to fresh berries). According to Papst (see Dragendorff's Heilpflanzen, p. 278), the acids of raspberry juice are chiefly malic and citric acids; the sugar consists of laevulose (4.6 per cent) and dextrose (2.5 per cent). Raspberry camphor is a volatile solid, which forms in an aqueous distillate from pressed raspberries (Bley; see Husemann and Hilger, Pflanzenstoffe, p. 1005).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Same as for Rubus. A syrup is prepared from R. Idaeus.
Related Species.—Rubus odoratus, Linné, Rose-flowering raspberry, or Mulberry (Real Mulberry is Morus sp. -Henriette), has an erect or reclining, unarmed, glandular-pilose, shrubby stem, from 3 to 5 feet in height. Leaves 4 to 8 inches long, nearly as wide, cordate at base, palmately 3 to 5-lobed, unequally serrate; lobes acuminate, the middle one prolonged; petioles 2 or 3 inches long, and with the peduncles, calyx, and branches clothed with viscid hairs. Flowers many, large, nearly 2 inches in diameter, in terminal corymbs. Petals orbicular, purple-rose color; stamens numerous, whitish. Fruit broad and thin, bright-red, sweet. This plant grows on rocky banks and in upland woods in the United States and Canada, flowering in June and July, and ripening its fruit in August. A decoction of it is said to be powerfully diuretic, and may be used freely in affections of the urinary organs, and dropsy (W.—G.).
Rubus Chamaemorus, Linné, or Cloudberry, is a small, herbaceous plant, found in our White Mountains. Mr. C. O. Cech found the berries to contain much sugar, citric acid, and an orange-yellow coloring matter. In Russia, where it is indigenous, the infusion of the leaves is successfully employed in cystic debility and dropsy.