Ghost Bramble: A Great Shrub for Winter Interest

ghost brambleVirtues: We love fast-growing ghost bramble for the ghostly white coating that covers its thorny canes in the winter season. This eerie deciduous shrub also produces purple flowers that become small, black inedible fruit.

Common name: Ghost bramble, Tibetan dewberry

Botanical name: Rubus thibetanus, Rubus cockburnianus

Flowers: Purple, 5-petaled flowers appear in the summer season and produce black, inedible fruit.

Foliage: The deciduous, ovate leaves are a deep grayish green throughout the spring and summer seasons and they begin to fall in autumn, revealing the white-covered canes in the winter season. Rubus cockburnianus can have bright yellow foliage during the warmer seasons.

Habit:  This deciduous shrub, a relative of raspberry, generally grows 6 to 8 feet in height with a similar width, but can potentially have a larger spread; the upright canes will begin to arch over, with an abundance of open stems.

Season: The striking, spooky beauty of the white powder that covers the thorny reddish canes appears in winter; however, deep grayish green or bright yellow foliage throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons, can add a little charm to any garden.

Origin: Ghost bramble is native to China.

How to grow ghost bramble: Ghost bramble is relatively easy to grow shrub that can be planted in almost all well-drained soils, though it prefers loamy soil and regular water. This plant grows best in full sun to part shade with a lot of space and is most successful in USDA Zones 5-9a.

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