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Blackberries

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Wild blackberries

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).

Taxonomy

Varieties

Common names

Etymology

Range

History

Morphology

Behaviour

Deciduous shrub.[1] Growth habit is long and scrambling.[1] It is perennial but the stems are biennial, fruiting on the second year.

In the wild, it "moves" by putting down new roots where its arching shoots touch the ground.[1]

Reproduction

White flowers in Spring.[1] Self fertile (one plant will fruit by itself).[1] Insect pollinated.

Hardiness

Soil Type

Tolerant of most soil types.[1]

Soil pH

Shade Preference

Full sun.[1]

Shade Tolerance

Tolerates fairly deep shade (i.e. no direct sun but some indirect light).[1] Fruiting is reduced in shade.[1]

Aspect

Exposure

Propagation

Hardwood cuttings taken in winter. Tip layering.

Plant potted or bare-rooted new plants in winter.[1]

Maintenance

The plant can stay healthier and more productive if it is allowed to move.[1] Little maintenance needed.[1]

Watering

Pruning

Problems

Harvest

Fruiting occurs from August to October.[1] Fruit ripens over several weeks.[1] In Oklahoma, the berries are picked in the weeks following the July 4th weekend.

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.

Preservation

Fresh fruits do not store for long.[1]

Uses

  • Fruit is edible raw, or cooked. Can be made into jams, cobblers, pies, etc.
  • Fruit can be made into wine (see Blackberry wine recepie: Making fruit, vegetable and flower wines#Berry Wines).
  • Bee plant.[1]
  • Young shoots (when spines are still soft) can be cooked.[1]
  • Leaves can be used to make tea.[1]
  • Purple dye from fruit and shoots.[1]
  • Basket weaving (spines can be removed by pulling stems through a small hole).[1]

Nutritional Values

Cooking

References