Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rubus henryi var. bambusarum and Rubus setchuenensis: intriguing but scary!

Hey, I like blackberries as much as the next guy.....say in a cobbler or on vanilla ice cream. I like some in the garden, but they are scary. They tend to be "vigorous" plants, growing rapidly and often spreading by rhizomes to create colonies. Maybe those are good qualities in a garden plant if well sited, bu terrifying in weeds.

We've got a lot of Rubus calycinoides syn. pentalobus in the Asian Collection and I have a small patch of it at home; it's an attractive very vigorous groundcover for hot sunny areas. Setchuenensis looks a lot like calycinoides but the leaves are big, really big, like 7 inches long instead of an inch and a half. I'm not a big taxonomy geek but I looked around a bit; I think I saw a synonym: Rubus calycinoies macrophylla. That makes sense to me. An acquaintance of Scott's sent these and they're quite attractive. I read though that they mature over 12 feet tall so that's a bit intimidating. We put our three plants in the cut flower bed to keep an eye on them. I'm psyched!

Pat Lynch donated the Rubus henryi var. bambusarum. Its supposed to become a scrambling climber and it clearly has a bamboo like appearance. I like it too. It's reminiscent of Viburnum henryi ?!? and Metapanax delavayi, both attractive textural plants. The literature suggests that it can scramble to 20 feet so maybe this is another one to keep our eyes on. Oh, well. I guess Rubus will be Rubus.

No comments: