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Blackberries are the fruit of many Rubus species grouped together as the Rubus fruticosus species aggregateW, sometimes commonly referred to as "brambles" or "canefruit" (including raspberries).
- 1 Taxonomy
- 2 Varieties / Cultivars
- 3 Hybrid Berries
- 4 Common names
- 5 Etymology
- 6 Range
- 7 History
- 8 Morphology
- 9 Behaviour
- 10 Reproduction
- 11 Hardiness
- 12 Soil Type
- 13 Soil pH
- 14 Shade Preference
- 15 Shade Tolerance
- 16 Aspect
- 17 Exposure
- 18 Propagation
- 19 Cultivation Design
- 20 Maintenance
- 21 Watering
- 22 Pruning & Training
- 23 Problems
- 24 Harvest
- 25 Preservation
- 26 Uses
- 27 Nutritional Values
- 28 Cooking
- 29 References
Varieties / Cultivars
- "Black Butte" - Thorny. Medium vigour. 1.8-2.4m stems. Heavy cropping. V large (up to 5cm) fruit. good quality, moderate flavor which improves when cooked. Early season (ripen end of July onwards).Cite error: Invalid
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- "Helen" - Thornless. 1.8-2.4 stems (compact). Large, good quality fruit. Early season (ipen mid-July onwards (very early season).
- "Loch Tay" - Thornless. Short stems (very compact plant). Crops as well as larger plants. Fair sized fruit. Ripen mid Aug onwards.
- "Veronique" - Thornless. Compact, semi-upright growth habit. Good crops of large fruit in late Summer.
- "Adrienne" - Thornless. Good cropping of long fruit of excellent flavor. Early season. 
- "Ashton Cross" - Thorny. Thin, very vigorous canes. Heavy cropping. Small-medium sized fruit of good flavor. Mid season.
- "Bedford Giant" - Thorny, vigorous canes. Heavy cropping. Large fruit of average flavour. Early season.
- "Black Satin" - Vigorous canes. Productive. Large fruit, firm and keep well. Mid-late season. Resistant to Cane Spot.
- "Himalaya" - Thorny. Long, stout canes. Extremely vigorous. Moderate cropping. Fruit medium sized of average flavor. Mid-late season. Good in barriers and windbreaks.
- "Loch Ness" - Thornless. Very heavy cropping. Fruit large and firm. Mid-late season.
- "Oregon Thornless" - Thornless. Moderagely vigorous. Good cropping in fertile soils. Fruits medium sized, firm. Sweet, good flavor. Evergreen or semi-evergreen.
- "Thornfree" - Thornless. Vigorous. Very heavy cropping. Fruit medium-large sized. Sweet-acid flavour. Late season.
- "Waldo" - Thornless. Moderately vigorous. Heavy cropping. Fruite large and firm. Good flavor. Keep well. Mid season.
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Hybrid berries are the result of crossing between various Rubus species, typically blackberries and raspberries. The creation of such hybrids can be a complex story, and in modern times the exact parentage of some are disagreed upon. The Marionberry for example has a complex parentage. A blackberry–raspberry hybrid was crossed with a dewberry to create the YoungberryW (hexapoloid, with red berries). The Youngberry was crossed with a Loganberry (a Dewberry - Raspberry hybrid with dark red berries) to create OlallieberryW. Another hybrid, Chehalem blackberry is a cross between the Himalayan blackberry and the Santiam berry, which is itself a cross between the California blackberry and the loganberry. Olallieberry and Chehalem have been crossed to produce the very widespread Marionberry (currently the most common blackberry cultivar). There is a hybrid variety with Boysenberry in Australia called Silvanberry.
- Boysenberry (Unclear origin. Possibly parentage involves European raspberry (Rubus idaeus), European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), American dewberry (Rubus aboriginum), and loganberry (Rubus × loganobaccus)
- Loganberry (R. caesius / Dewberry × Raspberry)
- Tayberry (Blackberry × Raspberry)
In the wild, it "moves" by putting down new roots where its arching shoots touch the ground.
Ideal is pH 7.
More productive in a sheltered site.
From Seed: Seed requires warm and cold stratification (see Seed StratificationW). E.g. keep seed in a box of sand at warm room temperature for 3 months, then store at 4°c (40°F) for a further 3 months.
Tip layering: In summer, bend a healthy, vigorous shoot down so that the tip touches the ground and ig a 10cm (4') deep hole at that point. Bury the tip with well firmed down soil. By late autumn or winter the tip will have rooted and can be separated from the parent plant.
Hardwood cuttings: take in winter.
Can also be propagated by dividing the roots or by removing a sucker.
Plant cuttings, layers, roots or seedlings in late autumn or early spring.
Plant potted or bare-rooted new plants in winter.
Allow 1.8m (6ft) between plants.
Once established, very little watering required, only during very dry summers.
Pruning & Training
Fruiting occurs on stems which are in their second year. Generally idea of pruning blackberry is therefore to remove the canes which have just fruited in the last growing season. This pruning is best done in winter when the plant is dormant. However other sources advise pruning sooner after harvest in summer or autumn. Pruning needs to be done every year.<refname=rhspruningweb /> T he plant can stay healthier and more productive if it is allowed to move.
Exceptions to the above are "Himalaya" and "Evergreen" varieties which can fruit for several years on the same wood, so should not be pruned hard.
Orange Rust. A fungal disease (causative organism is Arthuriomyces peckianus or Gymnoconia nitens). Symptoms: bright orange spores under the leaves, spindly shoots with narrow leaves. Root out and burn afflicted plants. See these articles on Gardening Know How for more information.
Brids. Birds will eat some of the blackberries but this is not usually a big problem requiring any action.
The best time to harvest is when the fruit is almost ready to fall off.
When harvesting blackberries, watch out for chiggers (also known as berry bugs, see TrombiculidaeW). These are small mites that can cause rashes and itchiness when they bite.
- Fruit is edible raw, or cooked. Can be made into jams, cobblers, pies, jellies, etc.
- Fruit can be juiced.
- Fruit can be made into wine (see Blackberry wine recepie: Making fruit, vegetable and flower wines#Berry Wines).
- Bee plant.
- Young shoots (when spines are still soft) can be cooked.
- Leaves can be used to make tea.
- Purple dye from fruit and shoots.
- Basket weaving (spines can be removed by pulling stems through a small hole).
- Titchmarsh, A (2008). The kitchen gardener : grow your own fruit and veg. London BBC. ISBN 9781846072017.
- Crawford, M (2016). Creating a Forest Garden: working with nature to grow edible crops. Green Books. ISBN 9781900322621.
- Bird, R (2011). A practical guide to growing vegetables fruit & herbs. Hermes House. ISBN 9781843098324.
- Rubus fruticosus agg. (RHS Horticultural Database).
- Seymour, M (2014). The New Self-Sufficient Gardener: The complete illustrated guide to planning, growing, storing and preserving your own garden produce. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 9781409346784.
- Brickell, C; Royal Horticultural Society (2012). Encyclopedia of Gardening. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 9781409364658.
- Blackberry and hybrid berry: pruning and training (RHS Gardening).
- How To Grow Blackberries (RHS Gardening).