Description: deciduous shrub
Place of origin: eastern North America
Urban habitat: commonly found in parks, vacant lots, waste dumps, meadows, fields, woodland edges, dry sunny slopes; tolerates variety of soil conditions.
Ecological function: food and habitat for wildlife; erosion control on slopes.
History: Like many of the Rubus species, Rubus pensilvanicus bears fruit that is loved by many animals including humans which allows the plant to spread its seed widely. May of the Rubus species has been used widely for medicinal purposes by Native American tribes used its leaves and roots to treat diarrhea, hemorrhoids, colds, coughs, stomachache, eye problems, headaches, rheumatism, tuberculosis, venereal disease, urinary infections, as a stimulant and as a preventative against miscarriage. The Iriquois also used the roots for ceremonial purposes. Its fruit has been eaten raw, cooked, as juice, and dried. The young shoots are consumed raw in salads. A purple/blue dye can be obtained from the fruit.