This widely distributed lowland bramble is occasionally seen in hedgerows and under deciduous woodland on neutral, fertile soils. It one of relatively few Corlyifolians with bright pink flowers. It is an eglandular species, though very short-stalked glands sometimes occur on the first-year stems and panicle.
As is generally characteristic of the Corylifolii, the inflorescence is divaricately branched and corymbose in shape. The flowers are loosely clustered in this species. The sepals are reflexed at first but become patent after flowering, then erect in fruit. The fruits of this species are described as small and sometimes partly abortive.
The pink petals are often crumpled and noticeably hairy on the margins. They vary in size from c.11-15 (rarely 18mm) long x 10-14mm broad, and are sometimes notched. Unusually for Corlyifolii, they do not overlap when the flowers are fully open. Anthers often have a few hairs. Stamens are longer than the styles, but may be level. The styles are normally pale yellow, but occasionally may be red tinged as in the second photo below (from an unsually richly coloured plant on the Isle of Wight). The carpels and receptacle are hairy.
Leaves are unmistakeably Corylifolian, because of the overlapping, somewhat convex leaflets with glabrous, rugose texture above. The terminal leaflet is roundish to ovate, c.6cm long, with a cordate base and a broad, short apex which is hardly differentiated from the rest of the leaf. Three to five leaflets may be present.
The two photos below are from the same bush.
Leaflets are normally greyish-felted below, or softly downy when in deep shade (the last photo below).
First-year stems normally have about 10-15 moderately robust, straight, declining or slightly curved prickles per 5cm. But some may only have 1 or 2 slender prickles. This variation in frequency and type of prickles probably reflects the fact that this species may actually consist of more than one entity. The stems are normally bluntly angled and turn a streaky reddish colour in the sun.
Stems may have pruinose patches, as is visible on the underside of this stem.
Thanks to Debbie Allan for providing some of these photos.