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Northern Blackberry Rubus flagellaris

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ROO-bus fla-gel-AIR-iss
Description

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 season's 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 flagellaris, or the Northern dewberry, is a very low-growing perennial shrub in the Rosaceae family. It behaves like a woody vine, producing 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). This plant provides food for large mammals, small mammals, and terrestrial birds as well as cover for small mammals and terrestrial birds. The flowers attract both long-tongued and short-tongued bees, who suck nectar or collect pollen. The flowers also attract butterflies and other insects. The fruit is an important source of summer food to many upland gamebirds and songbirds and mammals, while rabbit and deer browse on the leaves and stems

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.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:

Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#shrub#food source#trailing#native garden#edible fruits#edible garden#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#Piedmont Mountains FACU#butterflies#pollinators#birds#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#shrub#food source#trailing#native garden#edible fruits#edible garden#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#Piedmont Mountains FACU#butterflies#pollinators#birds#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rubus
    Species:
    flagellaris
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Cultivated for its edible fruit and there are some named varieties. This species is a blackberry with biennial stems.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, Mexico, United States
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides food and cover for woodland animals and birds.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heat tolerant.
    Edibility:
    The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked in pies or preserves. 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.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • 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
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    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
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruiting stems rise from the trailing stem, sometimes rising to 4 feet above the ground. Fruit displays from May to July.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Apomictic flowers that produce fruit and viable seed without fertilization, each seedling is a genetic copy of the parent. The flowers open up during the day and close at night. White flowers bloom from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are compound, usually trifoliate, with the three leaflets having a serrated edge.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems have scattered hooked prickles and are green when young and brown when older.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds