The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


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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!