Groundcover rubus

We’re investigating the possibilities of groundcover raspberries and blackberries – most likely for wild parts of our garden but possibly also for an eventual forest garden kind of setting.

Last year I picked up two beautiful arctic raspberry plants. Potted up, they soon spread within their pot, but don’t seem to grow very high and don’t have the same problem with many of the other rubus of long, strong canes twisted invisibly about the ground in a combination calculated to trip you up. The flowers verge slightly on the garish but overall I think it’s a lovely plant and am looking forward to getting some fruit set on it this year. It will probably live one more year in a pot so we can bulk it up a little before finding it a final resting place.

Arctic raspberry plants from above, flower close-up, and from the side

Arctic raspberry plants from above, flower close-up, and from the side

I’m not giving a scientific name as I’ve mislaid the labels but I’m fairly sure it is rubus arcticus.

Rubus tricolor

Rubus tricolor

The other experiment is rubus tricolor (Chinese bramble). We first met this in person a couple of years ago, carpeting supermarket car parks. Much more robust and creeping, it seems as though it’s fairly vigorous. The fruits are a nice orange colour and about the size of a smallish raspberry, plenty of them, and they follow cream flowers above glossy leaves and gently prickly orange stems.  When we found a plant in a local nursery this year we snapped it up but have yet to decide on where to plant it.  It doesn’t look much in its pot at the moment, admittedly, but I think there is plenty of life in there!

As yet I don’t know a great deal about these plants so here are a couple of links if you would like to join me in learning about them: (r. tricolor)


I’d welcome advice or tips on these and other rubus types of ground cover!


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