Canes growing from a root crown, called a bramble.
Productive 15-20 years.
10' high and as wide.
White, five petals.
Late winter to early spring.
Years before fruiting:
The "berry" is an aggregate fruit, with many small
round fruits clustered together, connected to a center part
called the torus. Seeds are relatively large. Blackberries
do not ripen if picked unripe.
Months for fruit to ripen:
1-1.5, depending on cultivar.
Ripe when fully black. Berries are sweetest when dull black
instead of glossy.
Storage after harvest:
Blackberries have a short shelf life.
They can be refrigerated up to 7 days. But then must be eaten,
cooked or frozen immediately.
Dark green, fuzzy, toothed edges, small spines
Blackberry canes fall into four groups based on whether
they are thorny or thornless and erect or trailing. Erect canes
are somewhat self-supporting while trailing canes need to be trellised.
Flowers normally bloom on second-year canes (floricanes)
but a few cultivars also produce flowers in the fall on first-year
canes (primocanes). Primocane-blooming cultivars do not as yet perform
well in high temperature regions. All stems are easier to harvest
if they are held in a fan-shaped arrangement off the ground by
horizontal wires between posts.
Shallow, spreads by rhizomes, invasive in moist areas, but
sensitive to heat in USDA zones 8 and up.
Cultivars of Note
for hot regions:
'Boysenberry Thornless' (Rubus ursinus
x idaeus), very large, delicious, fragile, purple berry, few seeds,
harvest throughout summer, trailing canes need support, 250-350 chill hours,
USDA zones 5-10.
'Ouachita' [pronounced WASH-i-ta] (Rubus ursinus)
thornless, large, sweet, firm berry, mid- to late-season ripening,
erect canes, 200-300 chill hours, USDA Zones 5-9. High yields in
temperatures under 100°F.
'Rosborough' (Rubus ursinus) Very thorny,
large, sweet, firm berry, early ripening, erect canes, USDA Zones 6-10.
The most productive and hardy in Arizona of all blackberry cultivars.
Attracts bees, birds and small mammals that eat
the fruit. A caterpillar host plant for the Blackberry Looper moth.
Rabbits also like to eat the stems and bark, so this plant may need
a rabbit-proof enclosure.
Toxic / Danger:
Many cultivars are thorny.
Northern Hemisphere: non-desert regions of
Asia, Europe, North America.