Rubus Biflorus or Ornamental Bramble
Common name: Ornamental bramble
Some of our well-known soft fruits (raspberries, blackberries and the modern hybrid berries) are members of the Rubus genus, but these are beyond the scope of this site. There are, however, several ornamental shrubs valued for their attractive and colourful winter stems.
The most popular member of this genus is Rubus cockburnianus (AGM), introduced from China by the plant hunter Ernest Wilson in 1907. It is a deciduous shrub grown for its winter stems which are purple overlaid with a heavy, vivid white bloom.
R. cockburnianus ‘Goldenvale’ (AGM) has the added advantage of having golden-yellow foliage. Among the flowering types is the deciduous hybrid ‘Benenden’ (AGM) which has thornless shoots stretching to 3m (10ft) or more. In mid-spring these have 5cm (2in) wide blooms of pure white, with golden-yellow stamens along their length.
Soil type All forms of Rubus are happy in good well-drained.
Planting This can be done between early autumn and late winter, whenever conditions are suitable. Choose a sunny or lightly shaded spot.
Pruning Pruning consists of cutting back in the autumn some of the older stems to ground level. Also, remove any damaged or dead branches at this time.
Propagation Take semi-ripe cuttings of around 7-10cm (3-4in) in the summer.
Pests and diseases Normally no problems are experienced with these cane shrubs.