- Common Name(s):
- Common dewberry, Northern blackberry, Northern dewberry
- Edible Plants, Native Plants, Perennials, Shrubs
The Genus Rubus, which includes Blackberry, Dewberry, and Raspberry contains several species that differ sometimes only slightly, some of which are erect or arching shrubs up to 8' high. Other species trail along the ground and are vinelike. Most plants have thorny or bristly stems, and all but one species in North Carolina has compound leaves. New shoots seldom have flowers or fruits, however, the second year the branches will flower and fruit. Typically, the "dewberries" produce fruits in the spring, and the 'blackberries or raspberries' during the summer.
The northern dewberry is a very low-growing perennial shrub in the Rosaceae family. It produces stems up to 15 feet long that trail along the ground. The stems have scattered hooked prickles, and are green when young, and brown when older. The fruiting stems rise from the trailing stem, sometimes rising to 4 feet above the ground. It frequently shares habitat with poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).
Seasons of Interest:
Blooms: Spring Nut/Fruit/Seed: Spring
Wildlife Value: This plant provides food for large mammals, small mammals, and terrestrial birds. Provides cover for small mammals and terrestrial birds.
Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
- Spring, summer
- 8 inches
- Flower Color:
- The leaves of the Northern dewberry are compound, usually trifoliate, with the three leaflets having a serrated edge.
- The Northern dewberry produces apomictic flowers, these produce fruit and viable seed without fertilization, each seedling is a genetic copy of the parent.
- The Northern dewberry is easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. A very polymorphic species, it is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit and there are some named varieties. This species is a blackberry with biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die. The plant produces apomictic flowers, these produce fruit and viable seed without fertilization, each seedling is a genetic copy of the parent.
- Sun to light shade
- Canada, Mexico, US
- The fruit of the Northern dewberry can be eaten raw or cooked in pies, preserves etc. It has a rich flavor. Young shoots are peeled and eaten raw. They are harvested as they come through the ground in spring and while they are still young and tender. The dried leaves make a fine tea.
- 15 ft.
NCCES plant id: 3239