Blackberry plant characteristics (Rubus spp)

What are brambles?

Brambles (Rubus spp)  thorny bushes of the genus Rubus of  Rosaceae family. The most common one is blackberry (Rubus fruticosus). Other species of the same genus are raspberries (Rubus idaeus) or currants.

Among all the species of brambles in Europe highlights Rubus fruticosus, or blackberry a very variable species containing more than 2000 hybrid variants as it easily produce a large number of mixed varieties, sometimes difficult to classify.

Blackberry description

Blackberries are shrubs having woody stems, thorns and fitted angular, in tender youth. As they grow, by their own weight, they bend towards the ground.

Compound leaves with five leaflets ovate teeth with well marked nerves. Leaves bright and sessile; underside with white hairs. Flowers up to about 3 cm white or pink, with five petals and five sepals, gathered in clusters at the ends of branches. Black fleshy fruits constituted by small drupes gathered around a common axis (polydrupes). Flowers appear from May to October.

Origin of blackberries

From Asia and America, blackberry bushes grow on embankments, roadsides, walls s in many temperate regions of America, Asia and Europe. Abundant in North America and particularly prevalent in Western Europe, especially in Mediterranean countries, where it is considered an invasive plant of cultivated fields: In fact, it requires great efforts to eradicate it. There are species adapted to the Arctic, where they are especially useful as food for wildlife. (More information in Blackberry cultivation the listing below)

History of blackberries


Photo of blackberries (fruits)

blackberry flowers

Photo of blackberries (flowers)

Men have used the fruits of this plant since antiquity, collecting them from the wild. Not until the late nineteenth century it began to be cultivated.

As a cultivated plant, people have managed to produce more than 2000 varieties of blackberries worldwide, most of them without the presence of bones that are so annoying and dangerous for people who decide to reap the fruits in the wild.

In many producing countries collection work has been done with machines. Cultivated blackberries producing countries are United States in America or England, Denmark and Sweden in Europe.

Blackberries are a very interesting biological resource for wildlife in all parts of the world. Their beautiful colors, rich in sugars, vitamin C and other trace elements, can help meet the needs of birds and insects.

The ease of reproduction of this genre, as well as their resistance to disease and adverse weather conditions, helps spread the species and make their fruits to be abundant in late summer.

There are many species of blackberries, all of the Rosaceae family and the genus Rubus. Some are used by their fruits, and other as landscape plants

punto rojo More information on blackberries.

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

26 May, 2021

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