The East London Garden Society

Cloudberry

Cloudberry is a slow growing Rubus species that produces edible fruit. Botanically it is called Rubus Chamaemorus which is derived from the Greek word chamai and morus, which means dwarf and mulberry respectively. It belongs to the rose family and is a close relative of raspberry, strawberry, apple and cherry.

It is grown in an alpine or arctic environment or boreal forest in the Northern hemisphere. This plant is most common in Northern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia. It is a perennial and a low growing plant which grows in open tundra or boggy areas. The berry, which is collected from July to August, has six to eight drupelets that form a small and roundish berry with a delicious but slightly tart taste. The unripe berries have a sour taste, are hard and red in colour.

Cloudberries are a source of vitamin C, being used for the prevention of scurvy from early years. The leaves and roots are also used for medicinal purposes. It is a naturally growing plant which grows in bogs and wet meadows in Nordic countries, Ireland, the moorlands of Britain, Northern Russia and the Baltic states.

The Cloudberry plant requires sunny exposure in acidic ground and is sensitive to salt and dry conditions, but can withstand cold temperatures below -40°C. It is a small plant with a 5 to 20 cm high stem, leaves measuring 3 to 7 cm in length and 2 to 5 cm across. Stems are erect, simple and woody with pubescent leaves that have sparse and short glandular hairs.