(Rubus macilentus)

Leaves and flower of a rutch 

Family: Rosaceae

Other names: Lean raspberry, orange red raspberry

Rutch is a fruit of Asian origin.  It occurs wild in Himalayan region of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and in Sichuan, Xizang and Yunnan provinces of China from 900 to 3000 m.  This shrub mostly grows on slopes. along roads, near water courses and on forest margins.

            This plant bears good quality edible fruits.  Rutch fruits are, however, collected from wild only as this plant is not yet cultivated.


A medium shrub 1-2 m tall, branchlets are brown or reddish brown, round, hairy, with unequal long flattebed thorns.

            Leaves trifoliate, rarely simple, leaf-stalk 0.8-1 cm; stalk of terminal leaflet is 0.5-1 cm, lateral leaflets nearly stalkless, velvety with minute prickles; stipules linear or linear-lanceolate, 4-6 mm, soft hairy; leaflet lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, or ovate, terminal leaflet much longer than lateral leaflets, 3-5 x 1-2.5 cm, lateral leaflets 1-2 × 0.7–1.4 cm, both surfaces hairless or slightly soft hairy, below with sparse, minute prickles only along veins, base rounded or broadly cuneate, margin sharply toothed, tip pointed, rarely obtuse, often shortly acuminate on terminal leaflet.

            Inflorescences terminal on short lateral branchlets, 1-3-flowered; bracts lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, somewhat smaller than stipules, soft hairy; pedicel 6–10 mm, villous, sometimes with sparse, minute prickles.

            Flowers about 1 cm in diameter Calyx abaxially villous; sepals erect, rarely spreading, lanceolate or triangular-lanceolate, 6–8 × 2–3(–4) mm, apex shortly caudate; petals white, broadly ovate to oblong, slightly longer than or nearly as long as sepals, both surfaces soft hairy, base clawed. Stamens many, shorter than sepals; filaments broad, complanate; pistils many, slightly shorter than stamens; apical part of ovary and base of style sparsely villous.

            Aggregate fruit orange or red, subglobose, glabrous or somewhat soft hairy, enclosed in calyx; pyrenes globose, deeply reticulate.


Rutch fruits are very attractive and eaten by local people.  These are, however, not sold.

            Though fruits of rutch fruits have a moderately good taste yet they are somewhat bland.  They seem to be low in acids and the total soluble solids also measure around 12.


Rutch fruits are collected from wild only.  The bushes are planted in gardens only for specimen collection.

            New plants can be raised from seed as well as from semi-hardwood cuttings.  Layering is also feasible.  Seeds require moist stratification at 3 C for a month for better germination.