May 27, 2017

Dainty as Dew

Rubus dalibarda - Dewdrop

Rubus dalibarda – Dewdrop | Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

For such a small thing, Rubus dalibarda has a number of aliases. Botanically, it is also called Dalibarda repens and Rubus repens. Its common names are dewdrop, false violet and robin runaway, none of which seem related in any way to the other. The plant, which is native to North America, is a member of the rose family, sporting heart-shaped leaves with toothed edges. The flower looks much like other Rubus blossoms, in this case a white five-petaled bloom that can be either sterile or self-fertile. The plant grows only a couple of inches tall, with a much greater spread than its height. Found throughout Maine and much of New England in its preferred habitat of swamps and moist woodlands, the plant is endangered in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Wild Wednesday is a collaboration of Garden Maine and Glen Mittelhauser of the nonprofit Maine Natural History Observatory, www.mainenaturalhistory.org.