When I first purchased Red Volunteer in 2008, I distinctly remember thinking, "do I want just a plain jane red?" I bought it on the recommendation of someone and am so glad I did!
I think if you look in the database you will see a variation of colors, but I have to agree that at times I think it does look more like raspberry colored. My RV has been in full sun and then due to growth around it over the course of several years, it is now in part shade, so it looks different at different times. On an overcast day, it looks more red.
Unfortunately, I have already pulled the scapes on RV this year, or I would be able to see bud count and branching.
RV is listed as a midseason bloomer. My photo records show that in 2009, it bloomed from 6/29/09 to 8/5/09 and then had rebloom from 9/14/09 to at least 10/11/09. In 2010, it bloomed from 6/17/10 to 7/17/10, but no rebloom. This year, it only bloomed from 6/22 to 7/17. I really need to move it because the area has become overgrown with other stuff and I can tell RV isn't flourishing as it used to.
Here is the picture of Red Volunteer in 2009 in October on rebloom. Still has several buds left.
Red Volunteer at the end of a hot day - June 30, 2011. It tends to get shiny and lose its vibrance. But you can kind of see the nice branching and the bud count looks decent, but not outstanding.
Here is a picture of it showing nice saturation of color on a cloudy day after some rain. Taken on June 26, 2011.
Taken on July 10, 2011. Just look at the height next to Forever in Time on the left. Both are registered at 30", but I am not sure anymore how tall they actually were back then. Both are in the sun and standing well above the foliage. Keepers!!
It really is rust resistant. I have lots of pictures of it since I purchased it in 2008, and don't see any rust on the pictures. I'd say my purchase of this plain jane red was well worth the $6 I paid for it!