Northern Ontario Plant Database
Rubus repens (L.) Kuntze
En: dewdrop, false violet, robin-run-away, star violet
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
General: A low perennial forb, 10–20 cm tall.
Leaves: Basal, simple, pinnately-veined above the base, long-petiolate, slightly hairy. Leaf blades cordate to rounded (orbicular), 3–5 cm long; the basal lobes rounded; apex blunt to rounded; margins scalloped, with low rounded teeth (crenate); petioles hairy, 3–10 cm long.
Flowers: Bisexual, solitary, of two types – open, usually sterile flowers with white petals on long peduncles, 5–10 cm long, – and closed (cleistogamous), fertile flowers that lack petals and are hidden beneath the leaves; the flower stalks (peduncles) of the cleistogamous flowers are short, 2–5 cm long, and curved downward. The calyx forms a shallow, hairy hypanthium, which is divided into 5–6 lobes of unequal size, the 3 larger lobes are toothed (serrate); petals 5, white, elliptic to oval, 4–8 mm long; stamens numerous; pistils 5–10, the ovaries are superior and hairy. Flowers bloom in mid summer.
Fruit: A few, nearly dry, small white drupes (drupelets), 3–4 mm long, retained within the calyx.
Habitat and Range: Moist to wet conifer and mixedwood forests or swamps, often on red pine and white pine sites with sandy, acidic soils. The dewdrop is native to northeastern North America. In Ontario, it is found as far north as Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, and eastern Ontario.
Internet Images: The Dalibarda repens a website of the Connecticut Botanical Society.
Similar Species: The leaves of dewdrop may be confused with violet leaves, but violets have low rounded teeth that curve upward; the leaf margins of dewdrop have low scalloped edges or outward-facing blunt teeth.
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