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Rubus r. 'Coronarius'

A breath of fresh air and a chance to escape from the family for a while means that I often take a short walk after Sunday lunch.
This time the family were my wife's cousins and the town was Charlottesville Virginia. Town walks can be enlivened by taking stock of front gardens, and on those occasions when I see a special plant I'm quite capable of knocking on the front door: 'Sorry to bother you but I was passing and noticed that wonderful plant in the front garden.

Can you tell me what it is? Hold on, I'll get Jim / Fred / Bess. Would you like a piece?, I'll get a trowel. Thank you very much, I'll treasure it.' (And often do).

No need to knock on the door this time, a lady is working in the front garden. "Excuse me, can you tell me what that plant is?' (It wasn't in flower). "I don't know but I've got one in a pot would you like it?"

The plant is very beautiful. The flowers are plentiful and big, up to 10cm wide, creamy white with greenish tinges and wonderfully double like a very good old fashioned rose. It flowers profusely from March to June on last year's growth, and again in August, September and October on current year's growth.

The foliage is good, dark and corrugated which sets off the flowers so well. It is about 85cm tall, upright and although it suckers mildly in a pot, it's very well behaved in the ground.

When propagated in the summer, it responds by flowering the following spring in a small pot when only 15cm high. I grow it in alkaline clay with an exceptionally high pH of 8.5, and a peat and grit potting mix with a pH of 4.5.

Both media are very nutritious. It's very easy to grow but, perhaps, appreciates a little shade. The plant was referred to in the March 1992 edition of the RHS magazine 'The Garden' by Alan Leslie in one of his occasional articles on forgotten genera-plants that should be better known. He referred to the plant as Rubus rosiflorus 'Coronarius'.

Bob Brown, Nurseryman

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Posted: 4 May 2004
Last modified: 23 April 2007


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