Another mystery plant challenge

What is this plant that my friend gave me last year?

She told me it was a raspberry I think, but I don’t think it is, though it has similar-ish leaves. Last year it just stood still and didn’t grow, flower nor produce fruit. This year it has gone mad and has done the raspberry/blackberryish thing of sprouting up from the root.

I have put three pictures up on Flikr, you could have a look and help me identify it. Unlike most raspberry or blackberries there are branches off the main stem. There are spikes on the stems and the undersides of the leaves, and right now it is covered with little berryish green things which I am thinking might be flower buds.

Thanks in advance!

(Edited to sort out buggered-up link!)


They definitely have what I would call spines or spikes, as opposed to the thorns that are on brambles like raspberries or blackberries.

I was wondering if it was a gooseberry but I looked them up earlier and the leaves of the gooseberry are scarcely bigger than the berries. The leaves on my plant are blackberry/raspberry shaped but they are large - as big as the palm of my hand, some of them… They are also not rounded at the ends like those gooseberry leaves but jagged like raspberries or blackberries.


Hmm… The leaf is still too small and too rounded. It also says on another slide in that series that currants don’t have thorns. I wondered if it was a currant but as a kid I seem to remember that the leaves had a strong smell to them.

My bush has thorns on both leaves and stems (very small spiky ones), and big, sharply serrated leaves in a vine-type shape.

Keep trying please! I REALLY want to know what it is…

I think you are looking for fact, not opinion, so I’m moving this from IMHO to General Questions.

Thank you! I could not decide which forum to place the question in.

Here’s hoping you guys can put me out of my misery - even to tell me that it’s a weed!

Bumpity bump… Any advance on a gooseberry or a currant?? Please help!

It could be some kind of raspberry or blackberry - the leaf forms are quite diverse in the cultivated varieties - I don’t think it’s a currant. However, the leaves look quite a bit like (grape)vine leaves to me, but vines have smooth stems on new growth.

Could you describe the spikes in a little more detail? Do they hook backward?

Looks to me like a blackcurrant, but as you say it is thorny then is it a Bristly black currant, Ribes lacustre?

From the link:

Wait till it fruits and you might have confirmation.

Ooh Colophon! I hope it isn’t that - it’s not nice to eat at all!

Mangetout, I just nipped out and took a series of photos of the plant again, this time paying attention to the leaves, their underside, the spikes and the fruit-y, bud-y things on it. Have a look and let me know what you think now.

I will leave it till it fruits - it’s a big plant now and it’s pretty in its own right, but I am consumed with curiosity!


I agree with Mangetout. It is definitly not Ribes, and looks very much like Rubus. In fact, it looks a lot like salmonberry.

Hokkaido Brit. How have you been? I haven’t seen you around for a while. Sorry I can’t help with the berry!

Quite close, Bewildebeest, but the leaves are different, if I’ve seen right: palmate in the OP’s case, pinnate in salmonberry. Maybe a different species of Rubus.