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A picture of a Blackberry

Blackberry

Rubus fruticosus

Rubus fructicosus owoce 646 by Pleple2000 (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy

7a

USDA zone

-18°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.5m

Max

1.5m

1m

Min

1m

5 years to reach maturity

Fruiting

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Fruits ripen in autumn. Pick fruits regularly keeping the central plug within the fruit.

More images

Rubus fructicosus liście 201
Rubus fruticosus Luc Viatour
Rubus fruticosus Fruit Luc Viatour
A photo of Blackberry

Overview

Rubus fruticosus is often referred to as Blackberry, after the dark-coloured, edible fruits or Bramble, after the sharp thorns. It is a common and vigorous, deciduous shrub species from the family. Blackberry plants produce large thorns and have a scrambling habit. They are often regarded as a weed in many public areas due to their invasive nature. However they are great for wildlife, providing ample food and shelter to many species. Flowers are white to pale pink in colour, appearing from later spring to early summer. The fruits of Bramble plants are black in colour and sweet when ripe. Blackberry fruits are often used in jams and pies, but despite common knowledge, these fruits aren't true berries! Botanically, Blackberries are an aggregate fruit. Aggregate fruits are made up of smaller units, termed drupes, which contain single seeds. This is different from a berry, which is made up of distinct tissue layers, developing from specific parts of the flower. Usually, one ovary forms from one flower, resulting in the botanical definition of a berry. There are several very similar species and cultivars of this hardy plant that are designed to be less invasive as well as not bearing thorns and holding more fruits.

Common problems

Companion plants

Propagation

Seed

Stratify seeds in the first year. Sow seeds shallowly. Keep seeds moist and plant out in Spring.

Layering

Tip layer in late summer to early autumn. The young shoots are bent over to the ground and covered with soil and left throughout autumn and winter. In spring, cut the new plant away and replant.

Cuttings

Root or leafy stem cuttings can propagate effectively. Plant 10-15 cm stems in moist sand. Once rooted, plant out. Take 7-15 cm root cuttings in autumn and cold store. Plant out in Spring in same soil mix 5-7 cm apart.

Suckers

Suckers can be removed from the parent plant and replanted.

Special Features

Attracts butterflies

Attractive flowers

They have white 5 petal flowers that are typical of the Rosaceae family.

Attractive fruits

Approximately 2.5cm long and look like small bunches of grapes.

Uses

Edible

The fruits can be eaten raw or made into jams and desserts.

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