Rubus fruticosus

Common Names: Blackberry
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Rubus genus

Rubus fruticosus is the ambiguous name of a European blackberry species in the genus Rubus in the rose family. It is sort of a catch-all for various blackberry hybrid species. What distinguishes the blackberry from its raspberry relatives is whether or not the torus (receptacle or stem) stays with the fruit when picked. When picking a blackberry fruit, the torus does stay with the fruit. With a raspberry, the torus remains on the plant, leaving a hollow core in the raspberry fruit. A perennial plants which typically bear biennial stems from the perennial root system. In its first year, a new stem, the primocane, grows vigorously to its full length of 3 to 6 m (in some cases, up to 9 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 cane becomes a floricane and the stem does not grow longer, but the lateral buds break to produce flowering laterals (which have smaller leaves with three or five leaflets). First- and second-year shoots usually have numerous short-curved, very sharp prickles that are often erroneously called thorns. The flowers are produced on short racemes on the tips of the flowering laterals. Each flower is about 2 to 3 cm in diameter with five white or pale pink petals.

Besides gardens, it's often found along roadsides and along the edges of meadows. Blooms in late spring and early summer.

Edible Notes: Blackberries are edible and commonly available in supermarkets.
Warnings: Blackberry plants have thorns which are capable of inflicting injury.