A British endemic bramble with recorded range centred on the New Forest in southern Hampshire and the adjacent Dorset heaths, with some outlying records from adjacent counties and a few further afield. It is similar to R. dumnoniensis, but has bright pink, broad, overlapping petals (atypically appearing white in the photos below) and a slightly different shaped terminal leaflet. Leaflets are quite strongly white-felted below.
Like R. dumnoniensis this is probably mainly a low-growing species, though this may be partly due to it occurring in heathland habitats browsed by livestock. It is also recorded from general woodland edge habitats where it grows much taller. The panicle is pyramidal with a fairly compact head of flowers, with 3-foliate leaves below, with leaflets similar in shape to the those on the stem, somewhat pleated and rugose, and one or more narrower single or 3-foliate leaves above. The rachis is reddish brown with fairly frequent long, curved prickles, red-based with a yellow point; only very short-stalked glands are present.
The flowers are large with broadly elliptical petals, just touching or slightly overlapping, often crumpled and with an irregular margin. Typically the petals are bright pink and therefore the flowers are quite striking, but in the plants photographed below the petals were only pale pink in bud, fading almost white when open. Sepals are pubescent with paler margins and medium length sharp points, reflexed at flowering. Stamens are much longer than the styles, with white filaments (in these photos). Styles are yellow, or tinged pink or red at the base. The fresh anthers are also pinkish, glabrous.
Leaves are 3-5 foliate, mid green in colour, the terminal leaflet broadly ovate, elliptical or nearly round with either an undifferentiated apex or a short cuspidate tip, and emarginate to cordate base. The margin is coarsely and irregularly serrate, slightly crisped in appearance. Young, fresh leaves are quite strongly plicate and rugose, pale green in colour. The scientific name may refer to the strongly curved prickles on the petioles.
Leaflets are greyish-white or greenish-white felted below.
The first-year stem is sparsely hairy becoming glabrous, angled and strongly furrowed, reddish-brown or eventually turning deep purple. Prickles are relatively numerous, mostly patent or slightly declining (not curved, though sometimes kinked), moderately stout and mostly distinctly longer than the width of the stem, similar to the colour of the stem, with yellow points.