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Chinese white-stemmed raspberry

Chinese white-stemmed raspberry, whole shrub.

Chinese white-stemmed raspberry is a suckering ornamental shrub valued for its showy silvery-white, arching and thorny stems, especially in winter.  Spring pinkish-purple flowers, dark green foliage, and purple-black aggregate fruit add additional interest in a sunny wood edge garden. May be difficult to find in nurseries.


Botanical name:

Rubus cockburnianus

All common names:

Chinese white-stemmed raspberry, white-stemmed raspberry

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • Screen

Size Range:

  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

Light Exposure:

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

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil

Seasons of Interest:

  • midwinter,
  • early summer,
  • early fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Pink

Shape or Form:

  • Arching,
  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Thicket-forming

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:

Size & form

A thicket-forming, 6 to 8 feet high shrub with silvery-white arching stems.

Tree & Plant Care

Full sun to full shade, best in sandy soil but tolerant of well-drained clay soil
Prune back regularly for best foliage and stem color
Flowers on older canes

Disease, pests, and problems

none serious

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Thorny stems protect against animal damage

Native geographic location and habitat


Bark color and texture 

Thin stems are smooth and waxy with prickles and bristles. Silvery-white color adds ornamental interest in winter

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, serrate leaflets

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Purple-pink, five-petal flowers

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

purple-black aggregate fruit


Location of Rubus cockburnianus (Chinese white-stemmed raspberry) at the Arboretum