The common raspberry is a thorny shrub with a perennial root, from which biennial shoots grow up to 1.5 metres in height. Raspberry bushes have alternate compound leaves, with three leaflets emerging from an upper bud, and five to seven leaflets growing from a lower bud. Raspberry flowers are small and white with a flossy hull. The flowering period is from June to July. Raspberries are an aggregate fruit, composed of individual, one-seeded drupelets set together on a small conical core.
The common raspberry grows on the edges of damp, shady forests, in forest clearings and lanes, and along rivers. Shrubs often grow in large groups forming thickets.