Rubus fruticosus, or brambles, are members of the very large family of Rosaceae and are mostly grown and loved for their delicious fruit, such as blackberries and raspberries. Rubus thrive all over the world. Their number in species is extensive, Northwestern Europe showing the most varied species by far. Their apomictic characteristic enables Rubus to produce offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant. And although clones lack genetic diversity, some hundreds of Rubus species in Belgium alone have been identified so far. To put forward the subject of Rubus has not been an evident choice. But along with recent introductions of wild species that have outstanding aesthetic qualities, there is an increasing enthusiasm and interest for growing brambles in our gardens.

This study day will give you the opportunity to learn more about these fascinating plants and their background, to acquire practical skills and to exchange gardening ideas and experiences.

The programme covers the diversity of bramble species in NW-Europe, recent botanic introductions, garden use and a visit of the arboretum’s plant collection.

For those staying until Sunday, there is the autumn plant fair in Arboretum Kalmthout. Specialist nurseries will bring their best collection plants, together with a wide range of rare and desirable plants not usually offered for sale. Free entrance from 10 AM onwards for attendees of the study day.


The Rubus Study Day will be run in English.

09:15 welcome with coffee & tea

10:15 start of the study day - introduction

  • 'Rubus in Northwest-Europe, biodiversity at its best!' by Rense Haveman (NL)
  • 'Battle of the brambles' by Iris de Ronde (NL)
  • 'Rubus species and primary hybrids new to cultivation' by Barry Clarke (UK)
  • hands-on workshop with vegetative key to Rubus species in cultivation by Abraham Rammeloo (BE)
  • visit of the Rubus collection in the arboretum

16:30 drinks & goodbyes

17:30 end of the day


18:30 – 21:30 IDS dinner (members only, or by invitation)