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Allegheny Blackberry Rubus allegheniensis

Phonetic Spelling
ROO-bus al-leh-gay-nee-EN-sis
Description

 Allegheny Blackberry is a native multi-stemmed shrub in the rose family.  The red-purple stems start out erect but arch with age and are lined with prickles.  

Habitat: Forests, woodlands, grassy balds

The Genus Rubus includes blackberry, dewberry, and raspberry and most members of the Genus share the traits of thorny or bristly stems and compound leaves. Also, flowers and fruit appear on last seasons canes (branches), seldom on new shoots, which means one must be cautious when pruning and not remove the canes that will yield next year's berries. There are differences, however, among species; for example, some are erect or arching shrubs up to 8 feet high and others trail on the ground like vines. Some, such as dewberries, produce fruits in the spring while blackberries and raspberries fruit during the summer. In general, Genus Rubus contains some of the most important plants for wildlife in the southeast.

Rubus alleghaniensis, or common blackberry, blooms in late spring or early summer and produces fruit in the summer. It is a woody shrub with canes that are initially erect but often bend downward to re-root in the ground. These canes actively grow and form leaves during the first year, and develop fruits in the form of drupes during the second year, after which they die down. The canes are about 3 to 6 feet tall and green where there is new growth at the tips. Mature canes are brown or reddish brown with stout prickles that are straight or somewhat curved. The root system consists of a taproot. This plant often forms loose colonies vegetatively. It grows easily and quickly from transplants or cuttings of young growth planted in a site with full sun to light shade and rich fertile soil. A clay-loam or rocky soil will also work. Allegheny Blackberry is common in the mountains of North Carolina. It is distinguished from our other blackberries by the gland-tipped hairs covering the branches.

The nectar and pollen of the spring flowers attract many kinds of insects, especially long-tongued and short-tongued bees. Butterflies are also attracted to the blooms. The plant provides excellent cover year round and the fruits are relished by songbirds, small mammals, foxes, raccoons and black bears. During the winter, birds and small mammals eat the seeds left from rotten fruit. White-tailed deer and rabbits browse the leaves, although the plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

The plant has no known insect or disease problems, but it can become aggressive and difficult to eliminate. Because it is so successful and can spread easily, use caution when selecting a planting site. Herbicides may be required to completely eliminate the plant.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#nectar plant#fall interest#specialized bees#bramble#NC native#deer resistant#turtles#edible fruits#food source summer#early summer flowers#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#fruits#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#fall color red#fall color orange#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-spring#Piedmont Mountains FACU#fall color purple#butterflies#pollinators#pollinator garden#native edible#birds#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#nectar plant#fall interest#specialized bees#bramble#NC native#deer resistant#turtles#edible fruits#food source summer#early summer flowers#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#fruits#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#fall color red#fall color orange#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-spring#Piedmont Mountains FACU#fall color purple#butterflies#pollinators#pollinator garden#native edible#birds#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rubus
    Species:
    allegheniensis
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada and U.S.A.
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits attract birds. Provides nectar for bees, food for birds and mammals, and thickets provide shelter for small mammals.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Drought tolerant. Moderately resistent to deer.
    Edibility:
    Fruits are edible. The fruit is seedy and has a sweet flavor when fully ripened. Eaten fresh or preserved or frozen. Often made into pies, syrups, jams, or other desserts.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Thimble shaped blackberries look like raspberries. Fruit displays in July. Drupes develop later in the summer; they are about ¾" long and 1/3" across, depending on moisture levels. The drupes are initially white or green, then red, and finally black. They are seedy and have a sweet flavor when fully ripened.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Dome
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    5 petaled white flowers form in loose terminal clusters at the end of stems from May to June. The canes develop racemes with about 12 white flowers. There is little or no floral fragrance.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Serrate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Palmate or pinnately compound red, orange or purple fall color. Leaves are usually trifoliate or palmately compound with long petioles. The leaflets are up to 4" long and 3" across; they are up to twice as long as wide. A typical leaflet is usually ovate with coarse, doubly serrate margins; it may have a few scattered white hairs on the upper surface, while the lower surface is light green and pubescent.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Bark Description:
    Purple-red and lined with prickles
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Green where there is new growth at the tips, otherwise they are brown or reddish brown with stout prickles that are straight or somewhat curved.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Rock Wall
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Spines/Thorns