A species of dry to humid heaths and wood margins – able to tolerate full sun or moderate shade. Common in Hampshire, parts of Devon, Dorset and the Midlands, extending to S. Lancs. In Gosport, it even grows in partly stablised shingle on Browndown beach. Recognised by its large (>3cm across), showy pink flowers with long stamens, glandular stems, with leaves whitish-felted below. (Beware a passing resemblance to Rubus armeniacus, which has similar large pink flowers and white underleaves, but eglandular stems.)
Flowers normally vary from pale to dark pink on the same plant, but can bleach almost white in the sun or may be deep, purplish pink in the shade. Darker veins on the petals can sometimes be obvious (middle photo below) – a feature perhaps unique to this species. Stamens are also often bright pink and styles usually deep red, at least below. Hairs are sometimes present on the anthers.
Leaves are glabrous with a distinctive matt texture above and usually almost white-felted below except in deep shade (similar to Series Discolores); the terminal leaflet is usually distinctly wider above the middle (obovate) but can be elliptical. Leaves are slightly convex and always sharply but rather finely serrate.
Note the difference (as is typically the case in brambles) between the fresh leaves of a shade-grown plant and the older leaves of a plant growing in the open (near the end of the summer growing season). The shade leaves are thin with flat margins but the open/old plant has thick, coriaceous leaves with undulate margin.
The stem armature is typical Micantes with the main prickles confined to the angles, but also with some distinctly smaller pricklets on the faces; also numerous glands of variable length and sparse to numerous hairs. Stems in the open turn reddish-brown or sometimes deep red.