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An evergreen, prostrate shrub, rising only a few inches above the ground; the stems creeping, unarmed, but thickly covered with soft purplish bristles and rooting at almost every joint. Leaves trifoliolate, with bristly stalks 11⁄2 to 2 in. long; leaflets glossy green above, bristly on the veins beneath, sharply toothed, the terminal one the largest and from 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, rhomboidal, often rounded at the apex; the side ones half to two-thirds as large, all three very shortly stalked. Stipules toothed or laciniated. Flowers pure white, 11⁄2 in. across, borne in the leaf-axils and at the top of erect, leafy shoots 6 or 8 in. high, each flower on a slender stalk 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, bristly like the reddish calyx. Bot. Mag., t. 5023.
Native of the Himalaya; cultivated at Kew since the mid-19th century. The cheerful leaves and large flowers render this one of the most pleasing of dwarf Rubi. The plant is rare in gardens, but may be recommended as a low covering for sheltered semi-shaded slopes, etc.
R. nepalensis is a variable species. The plant described above agrees fairly well with the type of R. nutans – a name that has had to be discarded for nomenclatural reasons. Plants agreeing with the type of R. nepalensis, which is smaller in all its parts, are also in cultivation.
Recent reintroductions of this species from Nepal are: by the University of North Wales Expedition (B.L. & M. 152); and Schilling 2074.