Rubus phoenicolasius

The Japanese wine berry is a close relative to the ubiquitous Blackberry and as the common name would suggest is Asian. It makes a suckering clump with arching stems to 2metres or so long, which when the plant is bare in winter are covered with masses of tiny bright red bristles. For me this is the main game  as it is a great winter interest plant. Prune it each year in spring by removing any canes that are over a year old (these are usually branched). It does have attractive bright green leaves that have a paler reverse and the small pale pink flowers are cupped in red bristly calyxes. The berries are small but sweet and good to eat although so small as to be a better browsing fruit than one to pick in quantity for the kitchen. I have it in a bed with old fashioned roses and most people assume it is one until in fruit. I have great strong plants in 6″ pots at $18.50.

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