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garden guide flower and fruit gardening guides home > berry bushes

Berry bushes, identify red and blackberry bushes

When your berry bushes aren?t bearing or your green thumb isn?t green, you can still enjoy the taste of fresh-picked berries. Take a walk on the wild side and find wild berries in Mother Nature?s panoramic garden.

Although nurseries and commercial growers have created many different varieties of berries, they began with many of the original berry varieties you will still find growing in the wild. You?ll find wild berry bushes in just about every rural location: woods, prairies and even bogs!

To begin identifying wild berry bushes, first learn how and where your favorite berries grow. First of all, although the term ?berry bush? is common, it is somewhat inadequate, since some of the most popular berries don?t grow on bushes. For instance strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, although in the same genus (Rubus), all grow differently. Still, none grow as berry bushes.
 

The strawberry is a low growing plant. In the wild, you?ll find it along paths and walkways. Although in the flower and fruit gardening guides home garden, the strawberry is a sun-loving plant. Wild strawberries are found in immature forests.

Raspberries grow on raspberry canes. Different varieties of raspberries propagate in different ways. Red raspberries propagate from root suckers and crown sprouts in a similar way to the strawberry, while black and purple raspberries propagate from crown shoots. They will also root from their tips if the tips touch the ground. Because a wild raspberry stand can become very compact, it?s easy to understand why it may be incorrectly referred to as a raspberry bush.

Blackberries also grow along slender canes. The wild blackberry is a prolific and invasive plant whose long canes bend to the ground, root and form new canes. Sharp thorns and dense growth give the wild blackberry a very bush-like appearance.

Cranberries, which grow in berry bogs, are a relative of the blueberry. Cranberries are generally harvested once a year, in the autumn. Perhaps that explains why they are such a popular holiday-time fruit.

The blueberry is one of the few plants that we call ?berry? that actually does grow on a bush! There are two kinds of blueberries; one is the high bush blueberry and the other is the low bush blueberry. Although they can both be found in the wild, the low bush blueberry is typically called the ?wild blueberry?. The high bush blueberry is often considered the variety that is grown commercially and the one suitable for the flower and fruit gardening guides home garden.

Besides these berries, there is a host of others: the huckleberry, the gooseberry, the elderberry and the currant are just a few more examples of many types of berry cultivars.

Although knowing the growing habits of berries is a start in identifying berry bushes, vines, and plants, the best way is to purchase a berry or wild plant book to use as a reference when taking a walk on the wild side!

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