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Rubus rolfei

Common Name(s):
Creeping bramble, Creeping raspberry, Crinkle-leaf creeper, Taiwanese creeping rubus
'Green Carpet', 'Emerald Carpet'
Groundcover, Perennials

Do you have a hot, dry, erodible slope or a ditch where moisture fluctuates?  Rubus rolfei, in the Roseaceae family, is the groundcover you have been dreaming about!  Few plants can tolerate these difficult conditions but this one is well suited to them.  Commonly known as creeping raspberry, the groundcover is often listed incorrectly as calycinoides, and it is sometimes also listed as Rubus pentalobus.  

The non-fruiting groundcover from Taiwan grows 1 to 3 inches tall, with crinkly, deep-green leaves providing needed texture in lightly shaded areas.  White flowers are borne in mid-summer, but they are generally lost in the foliage and not prominent.  The plant quickly forms a dense carpet.  In the fall and winter, foliage transforms to subtle rusts and pinks.  The groundcover is aggressive, but not invasive.  It will not climb trees or smother nearby shrubs and can be controlled easily with an edger.  Space creeping raspberry plants 4 to 6 feet apart, allowing them plenty of room.

Creeping raspberry adapts well to containers and tumbles easily over rock walls, providing a “spilling over” effect.  Bulbs or other perennials are able to pop up through the foliage to create interesting compositions.

 ‘Emerald Carpet’ forms a low, dense, evergreen groundcover bearing textured, dark green leaves through the growing season.  In the cooler months these leaves are blushed with burgundy tones.  ‘Golden Quilt’ is a branch sport that bears striking golden-yellow leaves and is especially prominent on the new growth of the season.


Seasons of Interest: 

     Foliage: Year-round, Fall, red/bronze

Wildlife Value: This plant is resistant to damage by deer.

2-4 in.
Alternate, simple ivy-shaped crinkly shiny dark green leaves with three to five lobes; deeply furrowed; copper fall color; densely branched
Inconspicuous, small white flowers in summer; .5 in. bright red blackberry-like fruit
Sun to light shade; range of soil types provided there is good drainage
2-4 in.; spread of 3 ft.
Spreading, Creeping, low trailing groundcover
Growth Rate:
woodland, year round interest, drought tolerant, rock garden, deer resistant, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 340

Rubus rolfei Form
J.smith , CC-BY-SA-3.0
Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet' Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet'
J.C. Raultson Arboretum
Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet' Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet'
J.C. Raultson Arboretum
Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet' Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet' flower
J.C. Raultson Arboretum
Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet' Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet' leaf close up
J.C. Raultson Arboretum