[NAFEX] Himalayan blackberry - Why it is called Himalayan.

Michael Dossett phainopepla at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 25 11:06:37 EDT 2008

I intimated a little bit about this the other day in
my post....

>From Jennings. 1988.  Raspberries and Blackberries,
their diseases breeding and growth:

Rubus procerus [aremeniacus] is native to northern
Iran, from where it has spread across southern Europe
to France.  Its occurrence in Britain and other parts
is almost certainly due to escape from gardens, and
though Watson (1958) noted that it was identical with
R. thyrsoides, which was collected at Holyhead in 1895
and in Cornwall in 1904, he considered that it was
most unlikely to be native to Britain.  It is said to
have been a troublesome weed in New Zealand since
before 1895.  Luther Burbank introduced a cultivar of
it to America in 1885 under the name "Himalaya Giant",
believing that it was derived from seed obtained from
Asian mountains.  This name is now used almost
exclusively for all cultivated forms, though they are
probably all derived from the stock that Theodor
Reimers of Hamburg introduced into Germany about

It goes on a little further to talk about the
weediness, range in North America, range of variation
(which is surprising considering it is an apomictic
species) and it's fruit quality.  So there you have
it.  In my opinion Burbank's assumption as to the
plant's origin wasn't a terrible one.  China and Asia
appear to be the main center of Rubus diversity in the


--- Douglas Woodard <dwoodard at becon.org> wrote:

> Full name "Himalayan Giant" also used in U.K. for
> many years.
> As to "why": many nurserymen will use any name that
> sells sometimes 
> regardless of what the plant is. There is and has
> long been a very wide 
> range of ethical standards in the business. Maybe it
> was thought to have 
> associations of bigness of fruit because of the size
> of the Himalayan 
> mountains.
> I think we might have to wait on some scholar who
> has access to old 
> catalogues and horticultural literature to do
> literature research.
> Doug Woodard
> St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
> Dr. Chiranjit Parmar wrote:
> > Dear all,
> >  
> > I saw all my books/floras on Himalayan plants.  I
> did not find it listed 
> > anywhere.  So I do not think that it is plant from
> Himalayan region, 
> > even from India.
> >  
> > Why it has been named as Himalayan blackberry in
> USA.
> >  
> > Dr. Chiranjit Parmar
> > www.fruitipedia.com <http://www.fruitipedia.com>
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Michael Dossett
Corvallis, Oregon
phainopepla at yahoo.com

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