Purple-Flowered Raspberry

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The time of eating the woodsy fruits of raspberries is beginning, but the genus for raspberries and blackberries (Rubus) is not just for eating.  The purple-flowered raspberry (Rubus odoratus) is a small- to medium-sized (3 to 8 feet) native shrub in the rose family (Rosaceae).  In both woodlands (I saw it this week at Mohican State Park) and for landscapes this raspberry is a welcome sight. It has maple-like leaves (but alternate rather than opposite leaf arrangement) and sparse wine-like purple flowers. These flowers almost remind you, appropriately so, of – small wild roses.