Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Creeping Raspberry Groundcover

I have long admired the creeping raspberry plant grown at our local nursery as groundcover near the plant displays. The mounds of leaves have great shading of green and turn burgundy in fall and winter. The plant sports small 1/2 inch white flowers followed by amber-colored fruit. Creeping raspberry (Rubus calycinoides) is a mounding ground cover that is unique and one I've wanted to grow since moving to the north coast. The mature plant height is 2 to 4 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide, surviving in full sun to partial shade. The plant has a cascading effect and appears more of a shrub like shape than groundcover to me. The nursery plant I've seen is much taller than this however as everything grows bigger here on the north coast.

I've been lucky enough recently to get a cutting of this plant and am now trying to root it. The creeping raspberry is a dense plant that likes sun. I think it would look wonderful placed in the front yard sitting between the passionflower vines on the fence and the climbing roses. There is room for another creeping raspberry plant on the opposite side of the passionflower vine near the rhododendron. The shape of the plant is mounding and works well in difficult areas of the yard, apparently good for hot, dry slopes and other areas where moisture varies from very wet to very dry and once established is drought tolerant. I've had difficulty growing other plants in the areas next to the passionflower vine so this may be the solution. The plant forms runners rooting in the ground and establishing more nodes and more colonies. The creeping raspberry spreads at a moderate to fast rate but it isn't an invasive plant.

If I successfully root this plant I will make many more plants from it. There are a number of sunny spots in the backyard that would look great swathed in this dense groundcover.

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