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Purple flowering raspberry is a fast growing multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that forms an upright spreading open mound and it tends to be leggy. It is a suckering plant that forms large colonies. It is in the rose (Rosaceae) family. The genus name is the Latin name for brambles and the specific epithet means fragrant.
Unlike many other rubus shrubs, this shrub has hairy stems but virtually no thorns. The stems are woody, and very pale brown.
1.5 to 2 metres (5 to 7’) and it can get to widths up to 1.5 metres (5').
Large soft green maple-like leaves turn yellow in the fall. Fragrant, licorice scented foliage. Medium green with a slightly hairy surface. The leaves are alternate, palmately lobed with five (rarely three or seven) lobes, up to 25 cm (10”) long and broad.
Fragrant pinkish-purple flowers from June to September. Flowers have 5-petaled clusters. Sepals are covered with glandular hairs. The flowers are 5cm (2”) across. The centre of the flower is a mass of stamens with yellow anthers. The stamens surround a central yellowish-green receptacle of carpels which is hidden by the anthers until the petals fully expand and spread outward.
Red berries are edible and can be used in jellies, pies, etc. However, not very palatable as they are tart, dry and very seedy. Enjoyed by birds. Fruit is a dry, aggregate, purplish-red drupe that resembles a fuzzy, flat raspberry. Fruits ripens in mid-to-late summer.
Purple Flowering Raspberry grows in well drained soils with medium moisture content. It does best in sun but tolerates shade well. It suckers and forms thickets and can be an aggressive spreader. They prefer woodland areas but can be grown in gardens.
Fruit can be consumed raw or cooked. Somewhat tart and dry, it is usually cooked and used in pies, jellies, preserves etc. The fruit can be dried for later use.
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