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Dewberry Rubus canadensis

Phonetic Spelling
ROO-bus ka-na-DEN-sis
Description

Smooth blackberry is a subshrub in the rose family (Rosaceae) that is native to the eastern USA including the mountains of NC and eastern Canada. It can be found growing in forested and disturbed areas as an understory plant. The canes are erect to arching. It spreads by rhizomes, which are typically found about 3 to 4 inches below the surface and can form thickets. Rubus is Latin for blackberry or raspberry, and canadensis means “from Canada”

Smooth blackberry has almost completely smooth stems that are free of prickles and spines. Leaves are smooth and compound. The fruit is edible raw or cooked in pies or jams and is sweet, juicy and richly flavored compared to other species of blackberries.

Because it grows well in relatively barren conditions and sprouts after fire, smooth blackberry is used for reclaiming disturbed areas. The dense colonies of these shrubs provide excellent cover for nesting birds. The canes create nearly impenetrable thickets where birds, rabbits, and other animals hide. Game birds, songbirds, raccoons, chipmunks, and squirrels eat the fruits. The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract many kinds of insects, especially long-tongued and short-tongued bees and butterflies. This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer. 

Grow this plant in part shade in moist well-drained soils in naturalized areas or along ponds and streams. Can be used to creat a barrier and to provide shelter for wildlife.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. That said, this plant has no significant 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.

More information on Rubus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#shrub#nectar plant#cover plant#low maintenance#erosion control#specialized bees#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#edible fruits#pollinator plant#nesting sites#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant midspring#bee friendly#Audubon#wildlife friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#shrub#nectar plant#cover plant#low maintenance#erosion control#specialized bees#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#edible fruits#pollinator plant#nesting sites#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant midspring#bee friendly#Audubon#wildlife friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rubus
    Species:
    canadensis
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Fruit can be eaten raw or cooked in pies and jams. Sweet, juicy and richly flavoured, it is generally preferred to most other species of blackberries. The fruit can be pressed into cakes and then dried for later use. The fruit can be up to an inch long.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    CT , GA , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant provides nectar for pollinators. Fruit is enjoyed by birds and small mammals.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Moderately resistent to deer.
    Edibility:
    The fruit of all species of blackberries can be eaten fresh or frozen and used to make desserts and sweet liqueurs.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 7 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    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
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is an aggregate of small drupes, each containing a single seed. Fruit can measure up to an inch long. Fruits display from July to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Numerous 5-petaled white flowers are borne in clusters of up to 25. Individual flowers are 1-1.5 inches across. Each seedling is a genetic copy of the parent. Flowers bloom from June to July.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate palmately compound leaves with leaflets up to 4 to 8 inches long. Generally smooth on both surfaces with serrated margins. Typically has 5 leaflets but sometimes 3. The terminal leaflet has a semi-cordate base and long petiolule (stem). The smaller basal leaflets are nearly sessile (stemless).
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are free of prickles and spines.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds