[NAFEX] Cloudberry

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Fri Mar 6 00:28:28 EST 2009

 From "Shrubs of Ontario" by James H. Soper and Margaret L. Heimburger 
(Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1982) page 235:

Rubus chamaemorus L. (Linnaeus)

Cloudberry, Bake-apple, Baked-apple berry.

A low herbaceous perennial with slender, creeping, woody rhizomes 
covered with brownish papery bark, dioecious. Stems upright, unbranched, 
and unarmed, 1-3 decimetres high, bearing leaves in the upper 1-3 nodes 
and stipules only at the lower nodes.

Leaves alternate simple and deciduous, the somewhat leathery blades 
rounded to reniform, 4-11 com wide, with 5-7 rounded lobes and rather 
shallow sinuses; margins serrate with blunt teeth; stipules sheathlike, 
especially the lower pairs; petioles 2-8 cm long.

Flowers unisexual, 2-3 cm diameter, solitary, and terminal on long 
peduncles; calyx lobes pubescent and glandular, sometimes lacerate or 
fringed; petals white and wide open in the mature flower; June and July. 
Fruit 1-2 cm in diamweter, composed of a few large-seeded drupelets, at 
first reddish, then turning amber to yellowish, soft and translucent 
when ripe, falling quickly from the dry receptacle, edible, with a 
pleasant distinctive flavour. ("chamaemorus" - from the Greek "chamae," 
on the ground, and the Latin "morus,"  the mulberry tree, in reference 
to the dwarf habit and mulberrylike fruit)

Chiefly in sphagnum mats and hummocks, in black spruce bogs and muskegs, 
and on mossy tundra.

Restricted to northern Ontario from the shores of Hudson Bay and the 
islands in James Bay (N.W.T.) to the north shore of Lake Superior, not 
collected in Ontario south of 48 degrees N.
(Greenland to Alaska, south to B.C., and east to Ont. and N. Eng.)


On the map of Ontario, the southern edge of the distribution runs from 
the American border along the Pigeon River to and along the north shore 
of Lake Superior to about Marathon, thence east to Lake Abitibi.

Some years ago I read of a First Nations project in Labrador, to collect 
cloudberries in the wild and ship them by air to urban markets, the 
first leg by helicopter. I never heard that it became operational.
I have read that the fruit is quite delicate and perishable.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Sarah Kehler Ewing wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I'm wondering if anyone on here knows anything about Cloudberries.  I'm also looking for a commercial source for Cloudberry plants or seeds.
> English: cloudberry
> German: Moltebeere, Torfbeere
> Canada, USA (Alaska): cloudberry, bakeapple
> Scientific Names
> Species: Rubus chamaemorus L.
> Family: Rosaceae
> I found some Cloudberry jam at Ikea and, aside from being too sweet like almost all commercial jams, we thought it was really good.  They resemble large yellow raspberries and their seeds is also like large raspberry seeds!  The information I found online mentioned their hardiness and the fact that they grow naturally in Canada and other Northern countries.
> Thanks, 
> Sarah 
> Zone 3, Edm, AB

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