Rubus schmidelioides var. schmidelioides


Rubus: From the Latin meaning bramble
schmidelioides: like schmidelia, a soap wort

Common Name(s)

Tataramoa, bush lawyer, white-leaved lawyer

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Rubus schmidelioides A.Cunn. var. schmidelioides



Brief Description

Prickly scrambling vine. Prickles red. Leaves compound; leaflets usually three, these leathery, dark-green to bronze green, markedly wrinkled above with the undersides covered in fine white, grey-white or brown tomentum. Flowers white or cream in small panicles. Fruits yellow or orange.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Rubus australis var. schmidelioides (A.Cunn.) Hook.f.; Rubus cissoides var. coloratus Kirk


Endemic. New Zealand: North Island (from about Hikurangi - Dargaville South), South and Stewart Islands


Coastal to montane in scrub and forest.


Much-branched dioecious vine with stems up to 10 m or more long when growing through supporting vegetation or forming sprawling bushes with interlacing branchlets when exposed. Young branchlets terete, up to 40 mm diameter; pubescent, becoming glabrous with age, armed or unarmed; when armed then armed with small, reddish prickles. Stipules minute, caducous, linear to linear-filiform. Leaves of adults ternate to palmate, petioles 20-50 mm long; lamina of adult leaflets 30-80 × 10-50 mm, coriaceous, ovate, oval, lanceolate, elliptic to broadly elliptic, acute, subacute to obtuse, rounded to oblique at base, margins coarsely and often unevenly serrate, adaxially dark green to bronze-green, more or less glossy, glabrous or almost glabrous, rugose to bullate, veins distinct (these often minutely pubescent), abaxially glaucous to white, usually finely, densely tomentose, tomentum white to grey-white, veins prominent below, pubescent, midrib armed or not; petiolules 3-5(-20 mm long). Inflorescence a much-branched panicle up to 100 mm long (rarely reduced to few-flowered racemes), branchlets and pedicels unarmed, more or less finely pubescent. Flowers white to cream, usually densely aggregate, on pedicels 5-10 mm long. Sepals 2-6 mm long, ovate-oblong to broad-ovate, pubescent; petals 5, 4-7 mm long, ovate to broadly ovate. Male flowers with numerous stamens, ovary absent or rudimentary. Female flowers with rudimentary stamen, carpels numerous. Fruits 5-9 mm diameter, druplets 8-12 (or more), yellow or orange. Endocarp 'seed' 1.9-2.5 mm long, dorsally ridged 2x.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from introduced Rubus (blackberries, raspberries wineberries etc) by the smaller flowers, usually palmate or ternate leaves, and the lack of long glandular bristly hairs on the young stems. Rubus schmidelioides var. schmidelioides differs from the other indigenous New Zealand Rubus (bush lawyers) by the red prickles, leathery, rugose to bullate leaves, with greyish white, white (rarely brown) tomentose or glaucous leaflet undersides, and yellow to orange fruits. Rubus schmidelioides var. subpauperatus differs from var. schmidelioides by the more conspicuously armed stems, petioles and leaf midveins, ternate to palmate leaves, by the narrowly lanceolate leaflets, and more compact panicles.


September - November

Flower Colours



December - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from layered stems and semi-hardwood cuttings. Flourishes when planted in damp ground in a well-lighted situation. Not often grown on account of its prickly stems - but nevertheless an attractive plant. The fruits though edible are insipid.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 28

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Taxonomic Notes

In the North-West Nelson region (west from about the Wakamarama range south to the Mokihinui Bluff) a very broad-leaved race of Rubus schmidelioides is present (the description above includes this entity). On account of its large leaflets it is known locally as Rubus "Strawberry Leaf" - its taxonomic status requires further investigation.

Fact Sheet Citation

Please cite as:  de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of Access): Rubus schmidelioides var. schmidelioides Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1265 (Date website was queried)


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 26 October 2016. Description based on Allan (1961), Webb et al. (1988) and Webb & Simpson (2001)

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I, Wellington, Government Printer.

Webb CJ, Sykes WR, Garnock-Jones PJ 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch.

Webb, C.J.; Simpson, M.J.A. 2001: Seeds of New Zealand Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Christchurch, Manuka Press.

This page last updated on 7 Nov 2016