fbpx Purple-flowering raspberry | The Morton Arboretum

Purple-flowering raspberry

Leaves and flowers of flowering raspberry.

A large leaved, flowering raspberry with rose-purple flowers and red, drooping clusters of fruit. A  suckering plant forming large colonies. A good plant for natural area or wildflower garden. 

"This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research."   

Botanical name:

Rubus odoratus

All common names:

Flowering raspberry, Virginia raspberry

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Chicago area,
  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
  • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Dry soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Occasional flooding,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil

Seasons of Interest:

  • early summer,
  • midsummer,
  • late summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • Pink,
  • Purple

Shape or Form:

  • Arching,
  • Mounded,
  • Thicket-forming

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:

Size & Form

A fast growing, erect shrub reaching 3 to 6 feet high and 6 to10 feet wide, forming large colonies.   
Shorter and more upright than other raspberries.

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun to part shade in moist, slightly acidic soils. Tolerant of gravelly, sandy, or deep loamy soil.
Prune out oldest canes to the ground to keep up the vigor and help rejuvinate the plant.

Disease, pests, and problems

Japanese beetles, powdery mildew, cankers

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 5
Native to IL, Midwest and Eastern U.S.
Found in shaded woods, moist, rich ravines and on rocky, gravelly wooded slopes .

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Many song birds and small mammals eat the fruit.

Bark color and texture 

Slender, yellow-brown exfoliating stems covered with small hairs.
Older twigs exfoliate outer bark to reveal smooth inner bark.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, 3 to 5 lobed, maple-like leaves.  Medium green with a slightly hairy surface turn a pale yellow fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Rose-lavender, 5-petaled clusters of single flowers. Sepals are covered with glandular hairs. 

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit is a dry, aggregate, purplish-red drupe that resembles a fuzzy, flat raspberry. Fruits ripens in mid-to-late summer. 



Location of Rubus odoratus (Purple-flowering raspberry) at the Arboretum