Gentes Herbarum, 1: 155-156 (1923)
L. H. Bailey
†22. Rubus loganobaccus, cultg. nov. Loganberry. Phenomenal.
Supposedly a hybrid between the native California dewberry and a red raspberry. A plant of great vigor, propagating by "tips", with persistent heavily pubescent or tomentose foliage of the R. ursinus type, leaves on strong turions commonly 5-pinnate, bisexual or perfect very large flowers on stout very prickly pedicels and with large pointed reflexing sepals, and long very large pilose red acid fruits, the drupelets adhering to the receptacle as in the usual dewberries and blackberries. The loganberry has come to be one of the major small-fruits. The berries, prepared in various ways, are a regular article of commerce in the United States.
The origin of the loganberry follows, as sent me by Judge J. H. Logan, Santa Cruz, California, in 1902:
"In August, 1881, I planted the seed of the common wild blackberry or dewberry, of California, botanically known as the Rubus ursinus, gathered from plants on one side of which was growing a kind of evergreen blackberry known as the Texas Early, and on the other side of which was growing an old variety of red raspberry. The Texas Early has a growth of cane and leaves similar to the Lawton, although much less vigorous, and in our mild climate is growing winter and summer. It has a small round berry of more acidity than the Lawton and probably of poorer flavor. The raspberry referred to has been growing in this place for the last forty years and I am unable to ascertain what variety it is, although it is of a type similar to the Red Antwerp. It is not, however, the Red Antwerp as we have been growing it here. From this seed there grew about one hundred plants which were cared for and planted out in the ground. In the summer of 1883 these plants fruited and there appeared one plant which was undoubtedly a cross between the raspberry and the Rubus ursinus. The fruit was larger and earlier than the raspberry or any blackberry, except the R. ursinus, ripening about the middle of May; the appearance of the berry on the surface was something like the raspberry, being less indented and of more even surface than a blackberry; the color a bright glowing red, becoming very dark and finally, when dead ripe, of a dull purplish-red color. The berry has a core like the blackberry and parts from the calyx the same as a blackberry. The leaves of the vine are almost identical with the wild Rubus, being somewhat larger. The canes are also like the wild Rubus only larger and more vigorous. It has the same small sharp spines, and like it, is without adventitious root buds, but multiplies from the stolons or tips and from seed. The fruit, when cooked, has the same rich acidity as the wild Rubus, there being only a suggestion of the taste of the raspberry in the cooked fruit, but in the jelly there is a more decided raspberry flavor. This red berry is universally known here as the Loganberry."
There has been much discussion as to whether the loganberry is really a hybrid or only a direct offshoot from the wild dewberry (blackberry) of California, with the weight of speculation and discussion strongly favoring the latter position. As no one seems to be confident whether the California wild dewberry is one species or more, we are left without a clear binomial for the plant. No one may yet say what the loganberry is, but it represents a dominating race and one that cannot be referred to any of the wild Pacific dewberries or blackberries without considerably enlarging the diagnoses of them and perhaps beyond the probabilities of their natural variation.
I am strongly inclined to the opinion that the loganberry is a hybrid, as supposed in the beginning. The herbarium material looks very distinct. The frequent presence of five large leaflets, pinnately placed, on the young canes suggests R. idaeus. In only one case have I seen more than three leaflets on the many specimens I have examined of the native Pacific coast species and in this case the leaflets are pedate; the collector, Charles Howard Shinn, writes (Madera Co., Calif.) that on looking over the patch carefully he finds about as many canes with five leaflets as with three and those with five are the more vigorous. Jepson (Fl. West. Middle Calif. ed. 2, 207) writes "pinnately 3 to 5-foliolate", and Focke (Bibl. Bot. heft 831, 78) says "folia ternata, vulgo nonnullis pinnato-quinatis intermixtis". It is to be determined how characteristic the five leaflets are in the wild plants, whether the lower pair is distinctly pinnately placed or only pedate, and whether the foliage is really that of the loganberry. At one time I had the privilege of going over the loganberry material growing at Kew with the late R. A. Rolfe, who was keen on Rubus; he contended it is a hybrid, an opinion that I thought had much weight in view of his experience with Rubus problems in Europe. The prevailing argument against the hybridity hypothesis is the fact that the loganberry breeds practically true from seed; but subsequent investigation may modify our estimate, of this fact (cf. the note on the Täckholm studies, page 144). Evidence as to parentage of the loganberry must include careful field study of the native Pacific Rubi.
Collateral evidence as to the probable hybrid origin of the loganberry is afforded by the Phenomenal which Luther Burbank records (Methods and Discoveries, vi, 62) as a "second-generation offspring of the Cuthbert raspberry and the California dewberry". The Phenomenal, while a different horticultural variety from the loganberry, nevertheless has similar botanical characteristics, so much so that I include it in the cultigen Rubus loganobaccus.
Loganberry and Phenomenal become willing parents of crosses. The loganberry is one of the parents of the English Lowberry and the Laxtonberry; the New York Experiment Station (Geneva) has a Herbert red raspberry X loganberry; George Fraser of Ucluelet, British Columbia, sends me specimens of his crosses between loganberry and native dewberry, loganberry and R. laciniatus (infertile), and R. spectabilis (infertile but flowers showy), and R. parviflorus or nutkanus (fertile), and English raspberry (infertile); a brief account of some of these crosses appears in the Agricultural Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Victoria, British Columbia, November 1921, 213. Mr. Fraser sends me specimens of crosses between Phenomenal and native dewberry, and a double-flowered loganberry.
Quite another problem is the Mammoth blackberry. This also was produced by Judge Logan, the origin of which he detailed to me in 1902:
"Since 1881 I have planted a good many seeds of this Rubus ursinus fertilized with the Texas Early. About twelve years ago there appeared among these seedlings,—and it is uncertain from what year's planting it came,—a most remarkable blackberry. The canes are enormous. I have a plant now growing in my grounds, which grew one cane or stalk last year for this year's fruiting, of one hundred and forty-nine feet of fruit wood. This single plant will cover with foliage a wall forty feet long and from six to eight feet wide, and the amount of fruit it will produce is not now capable of calculation. The fruit of this enormous berry is equally colossal; berries are frequently found two and one-half inches long. The fruit is similar to the wild Rubus, being less sharply acid, and when perfectly ripe is sweet and delicious. This berry I have named the 'Mammoth'. Its fruit is similar to the Loganberry only it is less acid, better for eating raw, but with most people it is not as popular as the Loganberry for sauce or jelly, and it is utterly insipid in short-cake. The Mammoth fruits perhaps a couple of weeks later than the Loganberry, and is jet black in color".
A good early portrait and account of the Mammoth appeared on the front page of Pacific Rural Press for September 4, 1897. The herbarium material of the Mammoth shows a plant with strong botanical characters, the foliage marked yet suggesting some forms of wild R. vitifolius but the spines indicating something very different. The Cory Thornless, another strong grower (said to have been discovered in the mountain pass of Tuolumne Co., Calif.) has similar foliage and fruit characters; sometimes the canes are unarmed but often the branches bear strong spines; and it is further remarkable that the thorny laterals have larger flowers than those on the unarmed twigs and with less pointed conspicuous petals. I have received specimens of "Mammoth Thornless" which I cannot distinguish from Cory. If the Mammoth is not a hybrid then I cannot place it. The Texas Early is itself a puzzle. With Dallas, Jordan, Crandall (which may be the same as Texas Early), and perhaps others, it constitutes a marked group. I suspect that when the native Rubi of Texas are collected we shall find another species, unless they are to be included in my R. velox.
Apparently there is another plant called Mammoth, having the character of loganberry, or else plantings have become mixed; and the name Mammoth Himalayaberry is sometimes shortened to Mammoth. See, also, p. 306, Bull. 34, Cornell Exper. Sta.