Rubus schmidelioides var. subpauperatus
tātarāmoa, bush lawyer, white-leaved lawyer
Rubus subpauperatus Cockayne; Rubus cissoides var. subpauperatus (Cockayne) Cheeseman
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
2n = 28
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Scrambling vine. Stems, petioles, midveins densely covered in red prickles. Leaves compound; leaflets three to five, very narrowly lance-shaped, leathery, dark-green to bronze green, markedly wrinkled above with the undersides covered in grey-white or brown tomentum. Flowers white or cream in small panicles. Fruits yellow or orange.
Endemic. New Zealand: South and Stewart Islands. In the South Island, mostly in the east from Canterbury South.
Coastal to montane in scrub and forest. Often in grey scrub
Much-branched dioecious vine with stems up to 10 m or more long when growing through supporting vegetation or forming sprawling bushes with interlacing branchlets when exposed. Young branchlets terete, up to 40 mm diameter; pubescent, becoming glabrous with age, armed (often heavily so); armature comprised of small, reddish prickles. Stipules minute, caducous, linear to linear-filiform. Leaves of adults ternate or palmate, petioles 20-50 mm long, covered in prickles; lamina of adult leaflets 20-50 × 5-10 mm, coriaceous, lanceolate, to narrowly lanceolate-elliptic, acute to subacute, rounded to oblique at base, margins coarsely and often unevenly serrate, adaxially dark green to bronze-green, more or less glossy, glabrous or almost glabrous, rugose to bullate, veins distinct (these often minutely pubescent), abaxially pale green, sometimes glaucous, usually finely, densely tomentose, tomentum grey-white to brown, veins prominent below, pubescent, midrib heavily; petiolules 3-5(-20 mm long). Inflorescence a much-branched panicle up to 100 mm long (rarely reduced to few-flowered racemes), branchlets and pedicels unarmed, more or less finely pubescent. Flowers white to cream, usually densely aggregate, on pedicels 5-10 mm long. Sepals 2-6 mm long, ovate-oblong to broad-ovate, pubescent; petals 5, 4-7 mm long, ovate to broadly ovate. Male flowers with numerous stamens, ovary absent or rudimentary. Female flowers with rudimentary stamen, carpels numerous. Fruits 5-9 mm diameter, druplets 8-12 (or more), yellow or orange. Endocarp ‘seed’ 1.9-2.5 mm long, dorsally ridged 2x.
Distinguished from introduced Rubus (blackberries, raspberries wineberries etc) by the smaller flowers, usually palmate or ternate leaves, and the lack of long glandular bristly hairs on the young stems. Rubus schmidelioides var. subpauperatus differs from var. schmidelioides by the more conspicuously armed stems, petioles and leaf midveins, ternate to palmate leaves, by the narrowly lanceolate leaflets, and more compact panicles.
September - November
December - April
Easily grown from layered stems and semi-hardwood cuttings. Flourishes when planted in damp ground in a well-lighted situation. Poorly known from cultivation. The fruits though edible are insipid.
rubus: From the Latin meaning bramble
schmidelioides: Like schmidelia, a soap wort
Rubus schmidelioides var. subpauperatus was accepted as distinct by Allan (1961) but dismissed by Webb et al. (1988). Nevertheless this variety has been upheld by a range of more recent publications, e.g., Eagle (2006). As the primary distinctions of var. subpauperatus; leaflet number, size, shape and degree of armature do seem distinct, then, pending a modern taxonomic revision of New Zealand Rubis, recognition of this variety is probably still warranted.
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (5 November 2016). Description based on Allan (1961), Webb et al. (1988) and Webb & Simpson (2001).
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I, Wellington, Government Printer.
Eagle, A.L. 2006: Eagle’s complete trees and shrubs of New Zealand. Wellington, Te Papa Press
Webb CJ, Sykes WR, Garnock-Jones PJ 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch.
Webb, C.J.; Simpson, M.J.A. 2001: Seeds of New Zealand Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Christchurch, Manuka Press.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Rubus schmidelioides var. subpauperatus Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/rubus-schmidelioides-var-subpauperatus/ (Date website was queried)