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Northern Dewberry Rubus flagellaris

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

The Northern dewberry is a very low-growing perennial shrub that behaves like a woody vine, producing stems up to 15 feet long that trail along the ground. This plant is found in much of Canada and the United States.

The biennial stem 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. They produce fruit their second year and then die down. The showy white flowers close at night and are followed by 1-inch-long fruits that are edible.

The Northern dewberry is easily grown in 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. Otherwise, grow in a naturalized area for wildlife food and habitat.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

 

More information on Rubus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#deciduous shrub#cover plant#small mammals#specialized bees#NC native#deer browsing plant#trailing#native garden#edible fruits#pollinator plant#edible garden#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant midspring#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Audubon#wildlife friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#deciduous shrub#cover plant#small mammals#specialized bees#NC native#deer browsing plant#trailing#native garden#edible fruits#pollinator plant#edible garden#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant midspring#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Audubon#wildlife friendly
  • 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
    Distribution:
    Central and eastern United States (from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska to the Gulf and East Coasts and the Great Lakes region), eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia) and northern Mexico
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant provides nectar for pollinators. This plant also 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.
    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
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    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 pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The drupe is up to 1" long and less across. Mature drupes become purple-black or black and have a tart-sweet flavor. Fruit displays from May to July.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    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 cluster (corymb) of 1-5 flowers opens up during the day and close at night. White flowers bloom from April to May. They are 1-1.25 inches across.
  • 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 with a log petiole, usually trifoliate, with the three (rarely 5) leaflets having a serrated edge. The terminal leaflet has a short petiole while the others are sessile (no stem). Bases are usually wedge-shaped and tips gradually taper. Undersides are paler. Individual leaflets are up to 3 inches across and 1 inch wide
  • 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 Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Spines/Thorns