I planted Purple-Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus) last spring. It didn’t do much last year, but this year I’m quite pleased with it so far.
This is a plant native to the Northeastern and Midwestern states, and parts of the southern Appalachian region. I planted it for the large Maple-like leaves, the flowers, and the fruit. The fruit is supposed to be pretty tasteless but very appealing to songbirds.
The flowers are attractive to native bees. They are supposed to be fragrant but I haven’t noticed any scent – perhaps when the plants are more mature.
Purple-Flowered Raspberry will spread to form large thickets, so it may require some strategic spade deployment.In my garden it’s about 3′ high but grows to twice that under the right conditions.
I don’t generally get very excited about foliage but these leaves have a bit of drama to them. They also have an interesting rough-textured look to them. I like the flowers, also.
At some point in the future I may have to exert myself to keep this plant under control, but that’s probably true of half the plants in our garden. For now I’m happy to have another bird- and bee-friendly plant in our midst.