Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.

Blackberries

From Appropedia
Revision as of 01:29, 28 March 2019 by Moribund (Talk | Contributions) (Varieties / Cultivars)

Jump to: navigation, search
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 / Cultivars

[1]

Hybrid Berries

Hybrid berries are the result of crossing between various Rubus species, typically blackberries and raspberries.[1] 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)

Common names

  • Blackberry.[2]
  • Bramble.[2]
  • Common blackberry.[2]
  • Common bramble.[2]
  • Bumble-kites.[2]

Etymology

Range

History

Morphology

Behaviour

Deciduous shrub.[3] Growth habit is long and scrambling.[3] 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.[3]

Reproduction

White flowers in Spring.[3] Self fertile (one plant will fruit by itself).[3] Insect pollinated.

Hardiness

Soil Type

Tolerant of most soil types.[3] Indeed, wild blackberries can often be found growing in very poor soils. Prefers rich, well-drained soil.[4]

Soil pH

Ideal is pH 7.[4]

Shade Preference

Full sun.[3]

Shade Tolerance

Tolerates fairly deep shade (i.e. no direct sun but some indirect light).[3] Fruiting is reduced in shade.[3]

Aspect

Exposure

More productive in a sheltered site.[4]

Propagation

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.[4]

Tip cuttings: cut the tip of a cane off and push it in the soil and usually it will root.[4] The simplest method.[4]

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.[5] 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.[5]

Hardwood cuttings: take in winter.[3]

Can also be propagated by dividing the roots or by removing a sucker.[4]

Plant cuttings, layers, roots or seedlings in late autumn or early spring.[4]

Plant potted or bare-rooted new plants in winter.[3]

Cultivation Design

Allow 1.8m (6ft) between plants.[4]

Maintenance

Little maintenance needed.[3] Weed all around the base of the plants.[6] Heavy mulch of well-rotted organic matter in spring.[6] General purpose feed (e.g. blood, fish and bone) in late April.[6]

Watering

Once established, very little watering required, only during very dry summers.[6]

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.[4] This pruning is best done in winter[4] when the plant is dormant. However other sources advise pruning sooner after harvest in summer or autumn.[7] Pruning needs to be done every year.<refname=rhspruningweb /> T he plant can stay healthier and more productive if it is allowed to move.[3]

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.[4]

Problems

Generally fairly free of problems,[6] however can be prone to the same problems as raspberries.[1]

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.[4] Root out and burn afflicted plants.[4] See these articles on Gardening Know How for more information.[2][3]

Brids. Birds will eat some of the blackberries[8] but this is not usually a big problem requiring any action.

Leafhoppers. Jumping, light green insects, approximately 3mm (1/8in) long.[8] Tends to occur in sheltered sites.[8] Symptoms: white flecking on leaves.[8] No action necessary.[8]

Harvest

Fruiting occurs from August to October.[3] Fruit ripens over several weeks.[3] In Oklahoma, the berries are picked in the weeks following the July 4th weekend.

The best time to harvest is when the fruit is almost ready to fall off.[4]

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.[3] They can be stored in shallow boxes and refridgerated or frozen.[4]

Uses

  • Fruit is edible raw, or cooked. Can be made into jams, cobblers, pies, jellies, etc.
  • Fruit can be juiced.[1]
  • Fruit can be made into wine (see Blackberry wine recepie: Making fruit, vegetable and flower wines#Berry Wines).
  • Bee plant.[3]
  • Young shoots (when spines are still soft) can be cooked.[3]
  • Leaves can be used to make tea.[3]
  • Purple dye from fruit and shoots.[3]
  • Basket weaving (spines can be removed by pulling stems through a small hole).[3]

Nutritional Values

Cooking

References