This species is widely distributed across north-western Europe. Plants frequently occur as stands on heaths and commons, the edge of moorland and mires and in open birch and oak woodlands. The images provided here are from Harrock Hill, near Parbold, SD5113 where plants are locally frequent near the hill summit to the east of the disused windmill amongst open heathland and stands of Bracken. Note the upright Raspberry like grow of R. plicatus with is characteristic of the species classified as members of Subsection Rubus.
It can often be difficult to distinguish R. plicatus from the very similar Rubus bertramii. We can see from the images of these two closely related species that the stem prickles of R. plicatus are not as broad based and are clearly less strongly curved than those of R. bertramii, the leaves of R. plicatus consist of 5 leaflets, apparently never 6-7 leaflets as illustrated by the R. bertramii plants at Freshfield Heath. The stamens of R. plicatus are clearly shorter than the styles, the young carpels are nearly glabrous and any hairs that are visible could well be protruding from the underlying hairy receptacle.
The third image along although poor in quality illustrates the curved rachis prickles of R. plicatus.