(Creeping Raspberry)Rubus is the genus of raspberries (Rubus idaeus), and blackberries (Rubus fruticosus and others). The genus rubus is huge, containing hundreds of species (some say as many as 750). With a group that big, there must be some ornamental rubus right? Of course there are!
In Latin, the name " rubus " refers to the color red (ruber, rubra, rubrus) and many rubus species feature red autumn leaves, red stems, or red fruit. The primary ornamental rubus for the Southeast US, Rubus pentalobus, is an ornamental from the high mountains of Taiwan with leathery, puckered, burgundy-red leaves in winter. It is a drought-tolerant, evergreen, low-growing, scrambling groundcover plant that does not produce much fruit (although edible). Rubus pentalobus is, however, very tough and can survive in sun or light shade and in moist or dry conditions. When it matures and fills in densely and it can smother weeds, cover a slope and prevent erosion. The small flowers also attract butterflies.
Other ornamental rubus exist (R. odoratus, R. thibetanus, R. cockburneanus, R. biflorus, R. tricolor) and while each has its own merits it may not grow well in the Southeast US or may be too brambly for most. When you are ready to buy rubus for your perennial garden, we hope you'll check out our online offering of rubus for sale.