Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, dwarf, 5–30 cm tall, dioecious, with long branched creeping rhizomes. Stems annual, somewhat woody, simple, erect, 30 cm tall, with few squamous leaves, pubescent, with intermixed sparse, short glandular hairs. Leaves simple; petiole 3–6(–9) cm, pubescent or with sparse, short glandular hairs when young; stipules free, leaflike, brownish, oblong, 5–10 × 4–7 mm, pubescent, with sparse, intermixed short glandular hairs when young, glabrescent; cauline leaf blade reniform or orbicular, 4–9 cm in diam., abaxially pubescent, ± with intermixed short glandular hairs when young, adaxially subglabrous or slightly pilose, base cordate, margin 5–7-lobed; lobes obtuse, with uneven coarse sharp serrations. Inflorescences terminal, 1-flowered. Pedicel 3.5–6 cm, pubescent, with sparse, intermixed short glandular hairs. Flowers unisexual, 2–3 cm in diam., usually staminate larger than pistillate, to 3 cm in diam. Calyx abaxially pubescent, sometimes with intermixed short glandular hairs; tube 1.5–2 mm; sepals erect, spreading, 4 or 5, oblong, 0.8–1.2 cm × 4–6 mm, apex obtuse or acute. Petals 4 or 5, white, obovate, 1.4–1.8 cm × 7–10 mm, apex retuse. Stamens shorter than petals; filaments long, linear, basally somewhat broadened. Pistils abortive in staminate flowers; in pistillate flowers ca. 20; styles linear, long, but stamens not developed or without anthers in pistillate flowers. Aggregate fruit orange-red or becoming yellowish brown, subglobose, ca. 1 cm in diam., glabrous; pyrenes smooth or slightly rugulose. Fl. May–Jul, fr. Aug–Sep. 2n = 56.
The edible fruit are harvested commercially and are used in preserves and juices.
The following taxa have been described from or reported for China, but we have seen no specimens and are therefore unable to treat them in this account. Further revisionary study is necessary.
Rubus calophyllus C. B. Clarke (J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 25: 19. 1889), described from India, reported for Xizang (“Tibet”): F. K. Ward 6321.
Rubus chui Handel-Mazzetti (Oesterr. Bot. Z. 90: 121. 1941), described from Sichuan: K. L. Chu 3019; K. L. Chu 3533.
Rubus hiemalis Focke (Annuaire Conserv. Jard. Bot. Genève 20: 105. 1917, not Kuntze, 1879), described from Taiwan: O. Warburg 10161.
Rubus nigricaulis Prochanov (Bot. Mater. Gerb. Glavn. Bot. Sada RSFSR 5: 54. 1924), described from Yunnan: A. Henry s.n.
Rubus parapungens H. Hara (Bull. Univ. Mus. Univ. Tokyo 2: 58. 1971; R. horridulus J. D. Hooker, Fl. Brit. India 2: 341. 1878, not P. J. Mueller, 1868; R. pungens Cambessèdes var. horridulus H. Hara): a specimen (at E, not seen) from SE Xizang has been identified as this taxon (Eona Aitken, pers. comm.).
Rubus pekinensis Focke (Annuaire Conserv. Jard. Bot. Genève 20: 104. 1917), described from Hebei: O. Warburg 6549.
Rubus rectangulifolius Kuntze (Meth. Sp.-Beschr. Rubus, 60, 78. 1879), described from China: G. Staunton s.n.
Rubus sinosudrei H. Léveillé (Bull. Acad. Int. Géogr. Bot. 24: 251. 1914), described from Guizhou: J. Esquirol 3506.
Rubus sweginzowianus Sivers ex Focke (Biblioth. Bot. 17(Heft 72): 188. 1911), described from Gansu: M. v. Sivers s.n.
Rubus viburnifolius Franchet (Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. (Paris) 1: 63. 1895, not Focke, 1910, nor (Greene) Rydberg, 1913), described from ?NE Yunnan (“Tchen-fong-chan”): Delavay s.n.
Forests, mossy bogs, mossy tundra. Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning. [Japan, Korea, Russia; C and N Europe, North America].