Rubus chamaemorus

Summary 5

Rubus chamaemorus is a rhizomatous herb native to cool temperate, alpine, arctic tundra and boreal forest, producing amber-colored edible fruit similar to the raspberry or blackberry. English common names include cloudberry, bakeapple (in Newfoundland and Labrador), knotberry and knoutberry (in England), aqpik or low-bush salmonberry (in Alaska - not to be confused with true salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis), and averin or evr

Rubus chamaemorus 6

Rubus chamaemorus (derived from Greek chamai "on the ground", moros "mulberry"), though not the same as the berry now called 'mulberry,' is a rhizomatousherb native to alpine and arctic tundra and boreal forest,[1] producing amber-colored edible fruit similar to the raspberry or blackberry. English common names include cloudberry,[2]bakeapple (in Newfoundland and Labrador), knotberry and knoutberry (in England), aqpik or low-bush salmonberry (in Alaska - not to be confused with true salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis),[3] and averin or evron (in Scotland).

Unlike most Rubus species, the cloudberry is dioecious, and fruit production by a female plant requires pollination from a male plant.

The cloudberry grows to 10–25 cm high. The leaves alternate between having 5 and 7 soft, handlike lobes on straight, branchless stalks. After pollination, the white (sometimes reddish-tipped) flowers form raspberry-sized berries. Encapsulating between 5 and 25 drupelets, each fruit is initially pale red, ripening into an amber color in early autumn.

§Distribution and ecology[edit]

Cloudberries occur naturally throughout the Northern Hemisphere from 78°N, south to about 55°N, and very scattered south to 44°N mainly in mountainous areas. In Europe they grow in the Nordic countries and the Baltic states. In Asia across northern Russia east towards the Pacific Ocean. Small populations are also found further south, as a botanical vestige of the Ice Ages; it is found in Germany's Weser and Elbe valleys, where it is under legal protection, and rarely in the moorlands of Britain and Ireland. In North America, cloudberries grow wild across most of northern Canada, Alaska, northern Minnesota, New Hampshire, Maine, and there is a small population on Long Island, New York.[citation needed]

The cloudberry can withstand cold temperatures down to well below -40 °C, but is sensitive to salt and to dry conditions. It grows in bogs, marshes and wet meadows and requires sunny exposures in acidic ground (between 3.5 and 5 pH).

Cloudberry leaves are food for caterpillars of several Lepidoptera species. The mothColeophora thulea has no other known foodplants. See also List of Lepidoptera that feed on Rubus.

Wild cloudberries at Littleisland, Norway.
Male flower
Unripe cloudberry
Cloudberry jam

Wide distribution occurs due to the excretion of the indigestible seeds by birds and mammals. Further distribution arises through its rhizomes which can develop extensive berry patches. Cuttings of these taken in May or August are successful in producing a genetic clone of the parent plant.[4]


Despite its modern demand as a delicacy exceeding supply (particularly in Norway) the cloudberry is primarily a wild plant. Wholesale prices vary widely based on the size of the yearly harvest, but can reach €10/kg.[5]

Since the middle of the 1990s, however, the species has formed part of a multinational research project. The Norwegian government, in cooperation with Finnish, Swedish and Scottish counterparts, has vigorously pursued the aim of enabling commercial production of various wild berries (Norway imports 200 - 300 tonnes of cloudberries per year from Finland). Beginning in 2002, selected cultivars have been available to farmers, notably "Apolto" (male), "Fjellgull" (female) and "Fjordgull" (female). The cloudberry can be cultivated in Arctic areas where few other crops are possible, for example along the northern coast of Norway.


The ripe fruits are golden-yellow, soft and juicy, and are rich in vitamin C. When eaten fresh, cloudberries have a distinctive tart taste. When over-ripe, they have a creamy texture somewhat like yogurt and a sweetened flavour. They are often made into jams, juices, tarts, and liqueurs. In Finland, the berries are eaten with heated "leipäjuusto" (a local cheese; the name translates to "bread-cheese"), as well as cream and sugar. In Sweden, cloudberries and cloudberry jam are used as a topping for ice cream, pancakes, and waffles. In Norway, they are often mixed with whipped cream and sugar to be served as a dessert called "Multekrem" (Cloudberry cream), as a jam or as an ingredient in homemade ice cream. They may also be added to cakes that may contain marzipan.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, cloudberries are used to make "Bakeapple Pie" or jam. ArcticInuit mix the berries with seal oil, reindeer or caribou fat (which is diced and made fluffy with seal oil) and sugar to make "Eskimo Ice Cream" or Akutaq. The recipes vary by region. Along the Yukon and Kuskokwim River areas, white fish (pike) along with shortening and sugar are used. The berries are an important resource for traditional foods to the Inuit.

Due to its high vitamin C content, the berry is valued both by Nordic seafarers and Inuit as protection against scurvy.[citation needed] Its polyphenol content, including compounds, such as benzoic acid, appears to naturally preserve food preparations of the berries.[6] Cloudberries can be preserved in their own juice without added sugar, if stored cool.[7]

§Alcoholic drinks[edit]

In Nordic countries, traditional liqueurs such as Lakkalikööri (Finland) are made of cloudberry, having a strong taste and high sugar content. Cloudberry is used as a spice for making akvavit. In northeastern Quebec, a cloudberry liqueur known as chicoutai (aboriginal name) is made.[8]

§Nutrients and phytochemicals[edit]

Cloudberries contain citric acid, malic acid, α-tocopherol, anthocyanins and the provitamin Acarotenoid, β-carotene in contents which differ across regions of Finland due to sunlight exposure, rainfall or temperature.[9] The ellagitanninslambertianin C and sanguiin H-6 are also present.[10]Genotype of cloudberry variants may also affect polyphenol composition, particularly for ellagitannins, sanguiin H-6, anthocyanins and quercetin.[11]

Polyphenol extracts from cloudberries have improved storage properties when microencapsulated using maltodextrin DE5-8.[12] At least 14 volatile compounds, including vanillin, account for the aroma of cloudberries.[13]

§Cultural references[edit]

The cloudberry appears on the Finnish version of the 2 euro coin.[14] The name of the hill Beinn nan Oighreag in Breadalbane in the Scottish Highlands means "Hill of the Cloudberries" in Scots Gaelic.[15]

The berry is called Bakeapple in Newfoundland. One explanation for the name suggests it is derived from the French term "Baie Qu'Appelle", meaning "What is this berry called?"[16]

§See also[edit]

  • Resvoll, T. R., 1925. Rubus chamaemorus L. A morphological - biological study. Nytt Magasin for Naturvidenskapene, 67: 55-129.
  • Resvoll, T. R., 1925. Rubus chamaemorus L. Die geographische Verbreitung der Pflanze und ihre Verbreitungsmittel. Veröffentlichungen des Geobotanischen Institutes Rübel in Zürich, 3: 224-241.


  1. ^ZipcodeZoo
  2. ^"BSBI List 2007" (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  3. ^
  4. ^K. Rapp (1986). "Vegetativ oppformering av molte (Rubus chamaemorus L.)". Jord og Myr10: 1–11. 
  5. ^"Record Cloudberry Crop Lures Thousands of Finns to Lapland Bogs". Bloomberg. 2005-07-28. Retrieved 2006-05-24. 
  6. ^Thiem, B. (2003). "Rubus chamaemorus L. – a boreal plant rich in biologically active metabolites: a review". Biological Letters40 (1): 3––13. 
  7. ^"Wild berries: cloudberries". Arctic Flavours Association. 2014. Retrieved 15 Sep 2014. 
  8. ^"Chicoutai" (in French). Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  9. ^Jaakkola, M; Korpelainen, V; Hoppula, K; Virtanen, V (2012). "Chemical composition of ripe fruits of Rubus chamaemorus L. Grown in different habitats". Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture92 (6): 1324–30. doi:10.1002/jsfa.4705. PMID 22083544.  edit
  10. ^Kähkönen M, Kylli P, Ollilainen V, Salminen J-P, Heinonen M (2012). "Antioxidant activity of isolated ellagitannins from red raspberries and cloudberries". J Agric Food Chem60 (5): 1167–74. doi:10.1021/jf203431g. PMID 22229937. 
  11. ^McDougall, G. J.; Martinussen, I; Junttila, O; Verrall, S; Stewart, D (2011). "Assessing the influence of genotype and temperature on polyphenol composition in cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.) using a novel mass spectrometric method". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry59 (20): 10860–8. doi:10.1021/jf202083b. PMID 21916411.  edit
  12. ^Laine, P; Kylli, P; Heinonen, M; Jouppila, K (2008). "Storage stability of microencapsulated cloudberry ( Rubus chamaemorus ) phenolics". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry56 (23): 11251–61. doi:10.1021/jf801868h. PMID 18989975.  edit
  13. ^Pyysalo, T; Honkanen, E (1977). "The influence of heat on the aroma of cloudberries (rubus Chamaemorus l.)". Zeitschrift fur Lebensmittel-Untersuchung und -Forschung163 (1): 25–30. PMID 835340.  edit
  14. ^"Finnish face of Euro coins: cloudberry, swan and heraldic lion". Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  15. ^"Beinn nan Oighreag, Hill of the Cloudberries". 2008-05-20. Retrieved 07-04-2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  16. ^"Newfoundland: 6 unique foods". Eat this town: food and tourism. 2012. 

§External links[edit]

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Sources and Credits

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  2. (c) 2013 California Academy of Sciences, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  3. (c) Susan Elliott, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  4. (c) anonymous, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  5. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
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