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greenhouse gardening flower and fruit gardening guides home > blackberry plants

Blackberry plants

Although blackberries are one of the tastiest fruits imaginable, the blackberry plant is very invasive and will take over your garden in the blink of an eye, if left unchecked! The blackberry plant is definitely not one you want to see mixed amongst your growing red raspberries!

Botanically known as Rubus fruticosus, the common blackberry is a well-known and widespread fruit. Although they are both members of the Rose family and share several common characteristics, the black raspberry growing in your garden is a hybrid of the blackberry plant dating back to 1893 in Geneva, New York. However, one other very distinctive trait shared by both blackberries and all raspberries is that none are true berries. Both blackberries and raspberries are classified as aggregate fruits. Their ?berries? form in drupelets around blossom petals, whereas a berry is a single fruit formed after the blossom has fallen.

The blackberry plant is also called a bramble bush and may have been what Beatrice Potter referred to in her tail of Peter Cottontail. ?He zigged and he zagged and ran into the bramble bush.? The blackberry would certainly be an excellent hiding place for a small rabbit. The sharp spiny thorns of the blackberry plant would deter most animals (as it does many humans) from entrance, while the thick fur of the rabbit would remain impenetrable.

Depending on the source, another name for the blackberry is the dewberry. However, some gardeners and botanists maintain that they are two different plants; the smaller dewberry has fewer drupelets and is further distinguished by the white waxy coating on its fruit.

All in all, no matter what you call it, the blackberry plant delivers a plentiful harvest of one of the sweetest fruits known. Throughout history, these small, tender fruits have been known by a variety of names and enjoyed in pies, jellies, jams and wines since Neolithic times! Ancient peoples also prized the blackberry for medicinal value and used it to create poultices and tonics to cure ailments that ranged from digestive disorders to canker sores.

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