Plant of the week- Rubus cockurnianus ‘Goldenvale’ 

IMG_8696.JPGRubus cockurnianus is a beautiful shrub within its own right. It’s delicate fernlike leaves are bourne on stunning white and purple stems up to 3m in height,  in the winter light, glow stunnningly and light up the borders like a ray of moonlight beaming up from them. Their growth is best described as a slight tangled mess, but it does add to its beauty. The flowers can look quite nice and followed by inedible black blackberry like fruits ( they indeed belong to the same family) but only happens on wood older than 1yrs old. The name Rubus comes from the Latin for red, from the colour of the berries.  It is a native of North and Central China and discovered by the great plant hunter Earnest Wilson in 1907. In China it’s natural habitat is river valleys, woodlands and thickets. In the U.K.

It will take most sites from light shade to full sun, light sandy soils to pretty heavy clay, From acid soil to a chalky alkaline soil. So they are tough plants indeed.   It suffers from very few pests and diseases. Pruning is the best way to encourage the very best coloured stems and is indeed very easy to carry out, Either every year to every two years if you would like flowers (I prefer every year), prune all the growth down to the ground towards the end of February or early March and then mulch with so well rotted manure to encourage more growth next year. If you would like to propagate it, again that’s easy, either get the  tip of a new growth and peg into a shallow trench and cover with topsoil, or take hardwood cuttings in October/November and they will take pretty well

IMG_5823.JPGThe form that’s the plant  of the week is ‘Goldenvale’ this form differs with a bright golden yellow foliage with striking white stems in the winter. This form is also slightly smaller at about 1.5m  and better for the smaller gardens. It is a total stunning plant that works so well in a small group or planted in a much bigger group, works with so many other plants as well.

It is certainly one of those 12 month a year value plant!


9 Comments Add yours

  1. John Kingdon says:

    I salute your delicacy, sir! You provide a translation for “Rubus” but remain sensitively silent on the “cockburnianus” bit. I agree with you. It’s a lovely plant; a real “doer”; just unfortunately laden with innuendo which probably means fewer people grow it than it deserves.

    1. thomashort says:

      Why thank you sir, I thought it would be best too…….
      it is a great shame it puts people off, it shouldn’t but it does, also gets labelled as a bramble by none fans and it’s far more that that isn’t

  2. cavershamjj says:

    I’ve got 4 of these lads brewing as hardwood cuttings. They seem happy enough, showing some growth from the stems now. Resisting the temptation to crack the pot open for a few more weeks…

    1. thomashort says:

      lol it’s always so tempting isn’t, just to see what the roots are doing 🙂 so easy to grow aren’t they

      1. cavershamjj says:

        Very. Actually, what do you think? They were taken as cuttings in early December, have been in a pot in the greenhouse ever since and have nice green growth from buds. When do you think I should pot them on?

      2. thomashort says:

        Sounds like they are doing rather well 😀I would wait until roots are popping out the bottom of the pot, always worked for me in the past with cuttings, means hopefully you will get some well developed root systems in place before any slight damage when pitting on

      3. cavershamjj says:

        Ok sounds sensible, thanks. Taps foot in impatience.

      4. thomashort says:

        No probs, lol we are all the same aren’t we, just so exciting to see what has taken isn’t

  3. Tom says:

    This was a lovely bllog post

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