State Noxious: AL (CAW), CA (Q), FL (NW), MA (P), MN (PNW), NC (CAW), OR (Q), SC (PP), VT (CAW)
The delious little berry
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Scientific Name:Rubus fruticosus
Common Name(s): Common Blackberry
Parts Used: stem
Beowulf65 5 Aug, 2008
Blackberries are perennial plants which typically bear biennial stems ("canes") from the perennial root system. In its first year, a new stem grows vigorously to its full length of 3-6 m, arching or trailing along the ground and bearing large palmately compound leaves with five or seven leaflets; it does not produce any flowers. In its second year, the stem does not grow longer, but the flower buds break to produce flowering laterals, which bear smaller leaves with three or five leaflets. First and second year shoots are usually spiny with numerous short curved very sharp thorns (thornless cultivars have been developed purposefully). The flowers are produced in late spring and early summer on short racemes on the tips of the flowering laterals. Each flower is about 2-3 cm in diameter with five white or pale pink petals. The newly developed primocane fruiting blackberries flower and fruit on the new growth. The early flowers often form more drupelets than the later ones. This can be a symptom of exhausted reserves in the plant's roots, marginal pollinator populations, or infection with a virus such as Raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV). Even a small change in conditions, such as a rainy day or a day too hot for bees to work after early morning, can reduce the number of bee visits to the flower, thus reducing the quality of the fruit. The drupelets only develop around ovules that are fertilized by the male gamete from a pollen grain.
The fruit, in botanical terminology, is not a berry, but an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets ripening to a black or dark purple fruit, the "blackberry". Unmanaged mature plants form a tangle of dense arching stems, the branches rooting from the node tip when they reach the ground. They are very vigorous, growing at fast rates in woods, scrub, hillsides and hedgerows, covering large areas in a relatively short time. It will tolerate poor soil, and is an early colonist of wasteland and building sites.
Blackberry leaves are also a food for certain Lepidoptera caterpillars.
Cultivation and uses:
Primary cultivation takes place in the North American State of Oregon located in the United States of America. Recorded in 1995 and 2006: 6,180 to 6,900 farmed acres of blackberries, producing 42.6 to 41.5 million pounds, making Oregon the leading blackberry producer in the world. The soft fruit is popular for use in desserts, jams, seedless jellies and sometimes wine. Since the many species form hybrids easily, there are many cultivars with more than one species in their ancestry. Blackberry flowers are good nectar producers, and large areas of wild blackberries will yield a medium to dark, fruity honey.
The blackberry is known to contain polyphenol antioxidants, naturally occurring chemicals that can upregulate certain beneficial metabolic processes in mammals. It is not advisable to use or eat blackberries growing close to busy roads due to the accumulated toxins from the traffic. The astringent blackberry root is sometimes used in herbal medicine as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. The related but smaller European dewberry (R. caesius) can be distinguished by the white, waxy coating on the fruits, which also usually have fewer drupelets. (Rubus caesius) is in its own section (Caesii) within the subgenus Rubus. In some parts of the world, such as in Australia, Chile, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest region of North America, some blackberry species, particularly Rubus armeniacus (syn. R. procerus, 'Himalaya') and Rubus laciniatus ('Evergreen') are naturalised and considered an invasive species and a serious weed.
As there is forensic evidence from the Iron Age Haraldskær Woman that she consumed blackberries some 2500 years ago, it is reasonable to conclude that blackberries have been eaten by humans over thousands of years.
Blackberries rank highly among fruits for antioxidant strength, particularly due to their dense contents of polyphenolic compounds, such as ellagic acid, tannins, ellagitannins, quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins and cyanidins.
Blackberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of 5347 per 100 grams, including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Another report using a different assay for assessing antioxidant strength placed blackberry at the top of more than 1000 antioxidant foods consumed in the United States.
Nutrient content of seeds
Blackberries are exceptional among other Rubus berries for their numerous, large seeds not always preferred by consumers. They contain rich amounts of omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and -6 fats (linoleic acid), protein, dietary fiber, carotenoids, ellagitannins and ellagic acid.
Current Rating: 0.0000
Ted 30 Jan, 2010
Blackberries differ from rasberries in the stems are more angular.Rasberries have a white-powdered round stem. Dried leaves of both used as tea,young growing,shoots (before the thorns get hard) can be eaten raw or cooked.
Current Rating: 0.0000
ravenscar 2 Oct, 2010
The USDA plot map does not show any locations, but a large amount of blackberries’ grow in Anderson county ,TX during the summer, and is always found in dense bushes. Very difficult to transplant any variety I’ve encountered so far, but the younger ones fare well in semi shade that has moderately drained soil.