Native Plant of the Month : Rubus Rosifolius

The Rubus Rosifolius also known as Rose-leaf Bramble.

A dense spreading thicket.

Rose-leaf Bramble is a rambling plant producing multiple canes that form a dense spreading thicket up to around 1m high. Individual canes can be up to 2m long. The leaves have five to seven leaflets and somewhat resemble the leaves of a rose bush. The plant is even pricklier than a rose bush, with spines along each cane and on the leaf stalks. It spreads rapidly and can dominate the understory in suitable conditions. Attractive but short-lived white rose-like flowers (to 2cm across) are produced through the year but are most prolific in late winter and spring. They are followed by small red fruits. These are soft and succulent with a pleasant raspberry flavour and intriguing undertone. They are best when eaten very ripe.

Benefits in the wild
This plant grows on the edges of rainforest and sclerophyll (eucalypt) forest across Hastings Local Government Area. It can also be found along streams on the escarpment and coastal plains, usually not immediately by the water but higher up in semi-shaded or sunny spots. Port Macquarie Landcare Group have found that deer do not like to walk through thickets of this plant. This plant has been used to put in the path of deer and to protect plantings.
Uses in your garden

The Rose-leaf Bramble has good potential in gardens, because of its pretty flowers and edible fruit. Its uses are limited by its prickliness and tendency to spread via suckers. Growing it in a container or in a bed with solid borders is one way to stop it spreading. Another option is to weave the canes through a sturdy wire mesh or lattice to stop them spreading too far. It can be used in sunny spots at the edge of a rainforest garden. Other uses include as a boundary hedge or grown against a wall, where it can be left to range freely or could be espaliered. 

When you add the Rose-leaf Bramble to your garden it will provide dense prickly vegetation for lizards and for small birds to shelter, forage and nest. Birds such as satin bowerbirds eat the fruit. While its appearance can be somewhat messy its habitat value is outstanding.

How to propagate

This plant can be propagated from seed or transplanting a portion of plant with its roots attached. It is tough and will survive transplanting easily. Known to tolerate mild frost and dry periods, but the fruit are succulent and tasty if plants are kept well-watered. 

A note of CAUTION!

The fruit are edible and quite palatable, particularly when ripe. In natural conditions the fruit may be quite dry. CAUTION! Some native plants are poisonous. The correct identification and preparation is essential in all cases.

Landcare nursery

The nursery has a wide supply native plants available. Learn more about the nursery at www.landcareportmac.com.au

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