Blackberry

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Rubus spp.

Common name(s): blackberry, bramble

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)

Description:

– two types of canes: primocanes (1st yr, vegetative) and floricanes (2nd yr, bears flowers)

– usually have palmate leaves with 5-7 leaflets; floricane leaves can have 3 leaflets

– large prickles similar to rose thorns, sometimes hairy branches 4″-12″ long.

– can be difficult to identify species without flowers/fruit, both because Rubus species hybrids are common and because plants in wild blueberry fields are mowed/burned regularly

– may be confused with other Rubus such as raspberries and black raspberries, but fruit ripens later and center portion (rasp) comes off with the fruit (not hollow as in raspberries)

– generally flowers late May to late July in ME

Source(s):

Hansen, R.W., S.B. Hansen and E.A. Osgood. 1991. Reproductive phenologies of selected flowering plants in eastern Maine forests. ME Agric. Exp. Station Tech. Bull. 143. 17 pp.