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A deciduous shrub, with erect stems up to 10 ft high, and 1 in. thick at the base, covered with a thick, white, waxy coating, and armed with straight broad-based spines. Towards the top the stems branch freely, the branches also being white, and, like the leaf-stalks and often the midrib, spiny. Leaves 4 to 10 in. long, composed of three or five leaflets, which are dark green above, covered beneath with a close white felt, ovate, pointed, sharply and irregularly toothed, and from 11⁄2 to 4 in. long. Flowers terminal and axillary, white, 3⁄4 in. across; fruits yellow, roundish, 3⁄4 in. in diameter, edible. Bot. Mag., t. 4678.
Native of the Himalaya up to 10,000 ft, eastward to China; introduced in 1818. Among the longer cultivated, white-stemmed raspberries this is by far the most effective although it is equalled by some of the newer Chinese species (see R. cockburnianus and R. lasiostylus). Its flowers are of little consequence, being small and of little beauty. It should be raised from seed (which ripens here), and planted in groups of not less than half a dozen. The soil should be a good loam, the aim being to produce stout thick stems, for the stouter they are, the whiter and more persistent is their waxy covering. After the previous year’s stems have flowered and borne fruit, they should be cut away (usually about August) leaving only the virgin growths of the year. During autumn and winter a group of this rubus makes one of the most notable plant pictures in the open air.