A common and widespread bramble over much of the UK, especially in lowland and coastal areas. It has a preference for dry, sunny situations and is hardly ever found inside woodland. It can be recognised by its elongated heads of pink flowers and distinctive greyish-green
corrugated leaves, especially those in the panicle.
It is a medium arching species forming bushes up to about 1.5m tall, but on dry or grazed heathlands it may be much smaller. The panicles are often narrowly cylindrical in shape.
Flowers are about 2.5cm diameter and usually tightly clustered at the apex of the panicle. The rachis and floral branches are downy with only scattered prickles, though these may be more numerous below. A few short-stalked glands can be present. Petals are pink or pale pink, broadly elliptical to almost round, up to about 12mm long. Stamens are longer than the styles, which can be pale green or with pinkish bases. Sepals are reflexed after flowering.
Leaves normally have slightly overlapping leaflets which are a characteristic matt greyish or yellowish green above and almost glabrous. The terminal leaflet is variable in size but averages about 7 x 5cm, either broadly ellpitical to nearly round, or somewhat obovate in shape. It is shallowly and evenly serrate with a short to medium cuspidate tip and an entire or emarginate base. Leaflets exposed to the sun take on a more pleated or corrugated appearance, though this is perhaps more characteristic of the panicle leaves and a useful identification character.
A characteristic feature of this species is the frequent production of 7-leaflet leaves.
Leaflets are quite strongly felted as is typical for the series, so appear silvery-grey or somewhat yellowish-grey below.
A freshly cut specimen of a stem piece taken from moderate shade - the leaflets are fairly thin, relatively large, not pleated and only thinly felted beneath. The terminal leaflet is convex.
Stems are often thinly pubescent and usually retain some sparse, short hairs even when exposed to the sun. They are sharply angled and usually flat-sided or slightly furrowed. The olive green/golden brown colour is typical of most stems, but they will turn reddish in full sun. The red-based prickles with yellow points often contrast with the stem. They are relatively long and slender, patent to declining and fairly numerous.