The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Going Native: Flowering Raspberry


I planted Flowering Raspberry, Rubus odoratus in my Woodland Edge border last Spring. It grew well. The rabbits dined upon it all Winter. This year it grew well again in spite of the nibbling. Actually it grew in even better and is exactly as I pictured – yes, just as I imagined. It is filling in the space as I drew it in my little sketch/plan of the Woodland Edge. Yes, I’m amazed by that. Plants do not usually grow according to plan. Perhaps this one will continue to fill in, and fill in, and fill in … then it will have grown outside the plan. But I want to add more of it to the other side of my garden because I am just that happy with it. I don’t foresee my love for this plant fading.

It propagates by runners and seeds although I think the seeds will be devoured before I have a chance to save them. Dining rabbits, enticing blooms that resemble those of a wild rose and disappearing berries and seeds are all clear indications that this plant is not only loved by me, but by the wildlife in my garden, too. Many types of bees are attracted to the Flowering Raspberry. Robins and other fruit loving birds eat the berries. Small mammals will eat the seeds.

Not only does it flower (long lasting!) and produce berries, but Flowering Raspberry has beautiful large Maple-like leaves that I find myself admiring every time I walk by. They form intricate layers and shades of green and will turn a nice yellow color come Fall.

These shrubs grow to approximately 6 ft and are hardy to zone 3. Mine grow in a pretty good amount of sun but I’ve heard they will grow well in shade, too. I purchased my shrubs from Amanda’s Garden Native Perennial Nursery, but you may be lucky enough to gather some seeds in the wild. If you’re patient, I may be giving away some of these plants in a few years!


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

6 thoughts on “Going Native: Flowering Raspberry

  1. That seems to be a 10 out of 10 plant!

  2. Kathy I will have contact Amanda as this is a wonderful plant and just what I am looking for…

  3. I like that plant for the benefit to the wildlife. Many grow at the parks at the Falls, and it would be easy to get the seeds. It grows a little too aggressively for my small garden though.

  4. Hello-This is an older thread, but here in 2017 I am studying a similar plant, Wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) and how it’s become a problem invasive in parts of the Northeast US. We struggle to eradicate it in my son’s yard in Clinton, CT and I’m finding little ones here in my yard in Brunswick, Maine that I attribute to some untended plantings across the street. Plants that spread seeds by birds and also by underground runners as well as rooting stems can be the hardest to contain, so I’m wondering how this one is doing on your small lot. Too well?

    I’ve been in the raspberry world also today with transplanting wandering raspberries back into the rows.

    Great blog, Northerner–and the Science links are wonderful. –Will

    • Hi William,

      Thanks for stopping by this blog. I still have this plant in my garden and yes, it is doing very well. It has spread but not obnoxiously. In the spring I usually cut down new shoots to the ground and/or dig them up for new plants. I may do this several times. I’ve started a patch on the other side of my garden so obviously I am not threatened by it. It is a nice specimen in my garden with its large, lush leaves. It attracts many birds. In flower, it is stunning and attracts many bees. All that being said, I am not your typical gardener. I prefer a natural, full look and there’s barely a mulch patch to be seen in my garden. A Pagoda Dogweed tree is making its way above this shrub and it is banked by Queen of the Prairie and ferns. All seem to play well together. I like this plant’s bushy form and it adds wonderful texture. I can see how some might consider it a problem plant, however, I still highly recommend it for wildlife value in the garden.

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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