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- The species represented by the type specimen of Rubus fruticosus L., which is also the type specimen of the genus Rubus. This specimen is considered to match the species R. plicatus, in Rubus subgenus Rubus, section Rubus.
- Various species consistent with Linnaeus' original description of the species, which was based on a mixture of specimens now considered to match Rubus ulmifolius and R. plicatus
- a species aggregate (group of similar species) Rubus fruticosus agg. that includes most of a group called either Rubus subgenus Rubus or Rubus section Rubus:
- in a narrow sense, sometimes separated as the section Glandulosus, with about 289 microspecies. In this sense the species aggregate does not include the type of the genus Rubus, which is a hybrid.
- in a broad sense including subgenus Rubus sections Glandulosus, Rubus (about 20 microspecies), and Corylifolii (about 24 microspecies). Section Rubus are probably hybrids involving members of section Glandulosus with either R. idaeus or R. allegheniensis. Section Corylifolii are probably hybrids involving members of section Glandulosus with R. caesius.
- even more broadly as a nomen ambiguum including all the taxa in the subgenus (or section) Rubus
Apart from the established meaning of Rubus fruticosus L. as R. plicatus, the name R. fruticosus has been incorrectly applied to several species, including:
- Rubus fruticosus G.N.Jones -> Rubus vestitus Weihe
- Rubus fruticosus L. ex Dierb. -> Rubus vulgaris Weihe & Nees
- Rubus fruticosus Lour. -> Rubus cochinchinensis Tratt.
- Farr, E. R. and G. Zijlstra (ed.), Index Nominum Genericorum, Smithsonian Institution, retrieved 15 May 2015
- "Rubus plicatus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Stace, C. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521707725.
- "Rubus fruticosus auct". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Jarvis, C.E. (1992). "Seventy-Two Proposals for the Conservation of Types of Selected Linnaean Generic Names, the Report of Subcommittee 3C on the Lectotypification of Linnaean Generic Names". Taxon. 41 (3): 552–583. doi:10.2307/1222833. JSTOR 1222833.
- The Plant List, retrieved 5 August 2016
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