Cloudberry Rubus chamaemorus

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See May, June, July, August
Colour Orange
Habitat Heathland, Upland

A miniature bramble of high, cloudy places.

The large white flowers and orange, marmalade berries are normally hard to find, but can occur in profusion in certain secret spots. The plant is creeping without prickles and its few leaves are 5-7 lobed and wrinkled.

Habitat

High moors.

Distribution

It is often found on the southern edges of the Pentland Hills.

Best time to see

Flowers from May to July.

Did you know?

It is the County flower of Peebleshire.

Besides Cloudberry, other names include Knotberry (because the fruit is like knots), Nub-berry ('nub' meaning 'knub' or 'knob', probably in the sense of a hill), Nowt-berry and Noops.

Richard Mabey reports that the berries 'make a thin marmalade, but are indifferent eating'. This caused one North Yorkshire contributor to say that they are known as nowtberries, becuase they taste of nowt! Another explanation is that 'knout'/'nowt' refers to the Middle English 'knot', meaning a hill. 'Cloud' is said to originate from the Old English 'clud', also meaning hill, rather than from evocative moorland mists.

The fruit rarely forms in Britain (unlike Scandinavia), owing to an overwhelming prevalence of male plants.