T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Rubus australis (Swamp lawyer)

Kingdom:Plantae
(unranked):Angiosperms
(unranked):Eudicots
(unranked):Rosids
Order:Rosales
Family:Rosaceae
Genus:Rubus
Subgenus:Micranthobatus
Species: Rubus australis
Common name: Swamp lawyer, Tataramoa. Bush lawyer

Rubus australis is one of several climbers commonly called Bush lawyer. It is in the genus where the blackberry is found. Rubus australis is similar to tataramoa (Rubus cissoids) but with smaller and broader, coarsely toothed leaflets and with smaller clusters of flowers. It is a scrambling climber with slender prickly branches that creeps along the ground and climbs into shrubs and trees. Stems can get up to 10 metres long. It climbs by its recurved spines.
The leaves consist of three leaflets (3-5cm x 1-3.5cm) with coarsely serrated margins. There are reddish thorns underneath the leaves and along the midribs.
From October to November it white unisexual flowers in panicles up to 20cm long.
It develops yellow-red fruit about 8mm in diameter. The berry is shaped like a small blackberry and was once used by early Europeans to make jams and jellies.