Blackberry
Overview
The blackberry is an edible fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 produced by any of several species in the Rubus
Rubus
Rubus is a large genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, subfamily Rosoideae. Raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries are common, widely distributed members of the genus. Most of these plants have woody stems with prickles like roses; spines, bristles, and gland-tipped hairs are...

genus of the Rosaceae
Rosaceae
Rosaceae are a medium-sized family of flowering plants, including about 2830 species in 95 genera. The name is derived from the type genus Rosa. Among the largest genera are Alchemilla , Sorbus , Crataegus , Cotoneaster , and Rubus...

 family. The fruit is not a true berry
Berry
The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets
Drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

. The plants typically have biennial
Biennial plant
A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle. In the first year the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots , then it enters a period of dormancy over the colder months. Usually the stem remains very short and the leaves are low to the ground, forming...

 canes and perennial
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

 roots. Blackberries and raspberries
Raspberries
Raspberry may refer to:* Raspberry, various fruit-bearing plants in the genus Rubus, especially two commercially grown species, the red-fruited Rubus idaeus and the black-fruited Rubus occidentalis...

 are also called caneberries or bramble
Bramble
Brambles are thorny plants of the genus Rubus, in the rose family . Bramble fruit is the fruit of any such plant, including the blackberry and raspberry. The word comes from Germanic *bram-bezi, whence also German Brombeere , Dutch Braam and French framboise...

s. It is a widespread, and well known group of over 375 species, many of which are closely related apomictic microspecies
Apomixis
In botany, apomixis was defined by Winkler as replacement of the normal sexual reproduction by asexual reproduction, without fertilization. This definition notably does not mention meiosis...

 native throughout the temperate northern hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

.
Blackberries are perennial plant
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

s which typically bear biennial
Biennial plant
A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle. In the first year the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots , then it enters a period of dormancy over the colder months. Usually the stem remains very short and the leaves are low to the ground, forming...

 stems ("canes") from the perennial root system.

In its first year, a new stem, the primocane, grows vigorously to its full length of 3–6 m (in some cases, up to 9 m), arching or trailing along the ground and bearing large palmately compound
Leaf shape
In botany, leaf shape is characterised with the following terms :* Acicular : Slender and pointed, needle-like* Acuminate : Tapering to a long point...

 leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 with five or seven leaflets; it does not produce any flowers.
Encyclopedia
The blackberry is an edible fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 produced by any of several species in the Rubus
Rubus
Rubus is a large genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, subfamily Rosoideae. Raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries are common, widely distributed members of the genus. Most of these plants have woody stems with prickles like roses; spines, bristles, and gland-tipped hairs are...

genus of the Rosaceae
Rosaceae
Rosaceae are a medium-sized family of flowering plants, including about 2830 species in 95 genera. The name is derived from the type genus Rosa. Among the largest genera are Alchemilla , Sorbus , Crataegus , Cotoneaster , and Rubus...

 family. The fruit is not a true berry
Berry
The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets
Drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

. The plants typically have biennial
Biennial plant
A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle. In the first year the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots , then it enters a period of dormancy over the colder months. Usually the stem remains very short and the leaves are low to the ground, forming...

 canes and perennial
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

 roots. Blackberries and raspberries
Raspberries
Raspberry may refer to:* Raspberry, various fruit-bearing plants in the genus Rubus, especially two commercially grown species, the red-fruited Rubus idaeus and the black-fruited Rubus occidentalis...

 are also called caneberries or bramble
Bramble
Brambles are thorny plants of the genus Rubus, in the rose family . Bramble fruit is the fruit of any such plant, including the blackberry and raspberry. The word comes from Germanic *bram-bezi, whence also German Brombeere , Dutch Braam and French framboise...

s. It is a widespread, and well known group of over 375 species, many of which are closely related apomictic microspecies
Apomixis
In botany, apomixis was defined by Winkler as replacement of the normal sexual reproduction by asexual reproduction, without fertilization. This definition notably does not mention meiosis...

 native throughout the temperate northern hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

.

Growth and anatomical description

Blackberries are perennial plant
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

s which typically bear biennial
Biennial plant
A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle. In the first year the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots , then it enters a period of dormancy over the colder months. Usually the stem remains very short and the leaves are low to the ground, forming...

 stems ("canes") from the perennial root system.

In its first year, a new stem, the primocane, grows vigorously to its full length of 3–6 m (in some cases, up to 9 m), arching or trailing along the ground and bearing large palmately compound
Leaf shape
In botany, leaf shape is characterised with the following terms :* Acicular : Slender and pointed, needle-like* Acuminate : Tapering to a long point...

 leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 with five or seven leaflets; it does not produce any flowers. In its second year, the cane becomes a floricane and the stem does not grow longer, but the lateral buds break to produce flowering laterals (which have smaller leaves with three or five leaflets). First and second year shoots usually have numerous short curved very sharp prickles
Thorns, spines, and prickles
In botanical morphology, thorns, spines, and prickles are hard structures with sharp, or at least pointed, ends. In spite of this common feature, they differ in their growth and development on the plant; they are modified versions of different plant organs, stems, stipules, leaf veins, or hairs...

 that are often erroneously called thorns. Prickle-free cultivars have been developed. Recently the University of Arkansas has developed primocane fruiting blackberries that grow and flower on first year growth much as the primocane-fruiting (also called fall bearing or everbearing) red raspberries do.

Unmanaged mature plants form a tangle of dense arching stems, the branches rooting from the node tip on many species when they reach the ground. Vigorous and growing rapidly in woods, scrub, hillsides and hedgerows, blackberry shrubs tolerate poor soil
Soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

s, readily colonizing wasteland, ditches and vacant lots.

The flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s are produced in late spring and early summer on short raceme
Raceme
A raceme is a type of inflorescence that is unbranched and indeterminate and bears pedicellate flowers — flowers having short floral stalks called pedicels — along the axis. In botany, axis means a shoot, in this case one bearing the flowers. In a raceme, the oldest flowers are borne...

s on the tips of the flowering laterals. Each flower is about 2–3 cm in diameter with five white or pale pink petal
Petal
Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They often are brightly colored or unusually shaped to attract pollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals lying...

s.

The drupelets only develop around ovules that are fertilized by the male gamete from a pollen grain. The most likely cause of undeveloped ovules is inadequate pollinator
Pollinator
A pollinator is the biotic agent that moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower to accomplish fertilization or syngamy of the female gamete in the ovule of the flower by the male gamete from the pollen grain...

 visits. Even a small change in conditions, such as a rainy day or a day too hot for bees to work after early morning, can reduce the number of bee visits to the flower, thus reducing the quality of the fruit. Incomplete drupelet development can also be a symptom of exhausted reserves in the plant's roots, or infection with a virus
Virus
A virus is a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of organisms. Viruses infect all types of organisms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea...

 such as Raspberry bushy dwarf virus
Raspberry bushy dwarf virus
Raspberry bushy dwarf virus is a plant pathogenic virus.- Causes :RBDV is usually transmitted through infected pollen. Insects that feed from infected bushes are also capable of spreading the infected pollen.- Symptoms :...

.

In botanical
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

 terminology, the fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 is not a berry
Berry
The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

, but an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets.

Ecology

Blackberry leaves are food for certain caterpillar
Caterpillar
Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera . They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture...

s; some grazing mammals, especially deer, are also very fond of the leaves. Caterpillars of the concealer moth Alabonia geoffrella
Alabonia geoffrella
Alabonia geoffrella is a species of gelechioid moth. Here, it is placed within the subfamily Oecophorinae of the concealer moth family . Alternatively it has been placed in the Elachistidae or Depressariinae together with its presumed closest relatives.It is found in Europe, where it is not rare in...

have been found feeding inside dead blackberry shoots. When mature, the fruits are eaten and their seeds dispersed by several mammals, such as the red fox and the Eurasian badger, as well as by small birds.

Cultivation and uses

Primary cultivation takes place in the state of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 located in the United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Oregon is the leading blackberry producer in the world, producing 42.6 million pounds on 6180 acres (25 km²), in 1995 and 56.1 million pounds on 7000 acres (28.3 km²) in 2009. While Oregon may lead the world in volume of fruit produced, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 has tremendous acreage.

The soft fruit is popular for use in dessert
Dessert
In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...

s, jams, seedless jellies and sometimes wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

. It is often mixed with apples for pies and crumble
Crumble
A crumble is a dish of British and Irish origin that can be made in a sweet or savoury version, depending on ingredients used, although the sweet version is much more common. It also can be traced to American cuisine during the European colonization of the Americas. A sweet variety usually contains...

s.

Good nectar producers
Northern Nectar Sources for Honeybees
The nectar source in a given area depends on the type of vegetation present and the length of their bloom period. What type of vegetation will grow in an area depends on soil texture, soil pH, soil drainage, daily maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, extreme minimum winter temperature,...

, blackberry shrubs bearing flowers yield a medium to dark, fruity honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

.

The blackberry is known to contain polyphenol antioxidant
Polyphenol antioxidant
A polyphenol antioxidant is a type of antioxidant containing a polyphenolic substructure. Numbering over 4,000 distinct species, many of these compounds have antioxidant activity in vitro but are unlikely to have antioxidant roles in vivo...

s, naturally occurring chemicals that can upregulate certain beneficial metabolic processes in mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s. The astringent
Astringent
An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin adstringere, meaning "to bind fast"...

 blackberry root is sometimes used in herbal medicine as a treatment for diarrhea
Diarrhea
Diarrhea , also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and...

 and dysentery
Dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

.
The related but smaller dewberry
Dewberry
The dewberries are a group of species in the genus Rubus, section Rubus, closely related to the blackberries. They are small trailing brambles with berries reminiscent of the raspberry, but are usually purple to black instead of red.Dewberries are common throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere,...

 can be distinguished by the white, waxy coating on the fruits, which also usually have fewer drupelets. (Rubus caesius) is in its own section (Caesii) within the subgenus Rubus.

In some parts of the world, such as in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 region of North America, some blackberry species, particularly Rubus armeniacus
Rubus armeniacus
Rubus armeniacus, Armenian Blackberry or Himalayan Blackberry, is a species of Rubus in the blackberry group Rubus subgenus Rubus series Discolores Focke. It is native to Armenia in southwest Asia, and widely naturalised elsewhere...

(syn. R. procerus, 'Himalaya') and Rubus laciniatus
Rubus laciniatus
Rubus laciniatus, the Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry or Evergreen Blackberry, is a species of Rubus native to Europe. it is an introduced species in North America...

('Evergreen') are naturalised
Naturalisation (biology)
In biology, naturalisation is any process by which a non-native organism spreads into the wild and its reproduction is sufficient to maintain its population. Such populations are said to be naturalised....

 and considered an invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

 and a serious weed
Weed
A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas. More specifically, the term is often used to...

.

As there is forensic evidence from the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 Haraldskær Woman
Haraldskær Woman
The Haraldskær Woman is an Iron Age bog body found naturally preserved in a bog in Jutland, Denmark. Labourers discovered the body in 1835 while excavating peat on the Haraldskær Estate...

 that she consumed blackberries some 2500 years ago, it is reasonable to conclude that blackberries have been eaten by humans over thousands of years.

Diseases and pests

The spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii
Drosophila suzukii
Drosophila suzukii, commonly called the spotted-wing drosophila, is a vinegar fly—closely related to Drosophila melanogaster . Native to southeast Asia, D. suzukii was first described in 1931 by Matsumura. Observed in Japan as early as 1916 by T. Kanzawa, D...

is a serious pest of blackberries. Unlike its vinegar fly relatives which are primarily attracted to rotting or fermented fruit, D. suzukii attacks fresh, ripe fruit by laying eggs under the soft skin. The larvae hatch and grow in the fruit, destroying the fruit's commercial value.

Commercial cultivars

Numerous cultivars have been selected for commercial and amateur cultivation in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Since the many species form hybrids easily, there are numerous cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s with more than one species in their ancestry.

'Marion' (marketed as "marionberry
Marionberry
The Marion cultivar or Marion blackberry, marketed as , is a hybrid caneberry developed by the USDA ARS breeding program in cooperation with Oregon State University. It is a cross between the 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' berries...

") is an important cultivar that was selected from seedlings from a cross between 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' (commonly called "olallieberry") berries. 'Olallie' in turn is a cross between loganberry
Loganberry
The loganberry is an hexaploid hybrid produced from crossing an octaploid blackberry and a diploid red raspberry. The plant and the fruit resemble the blackberry more than the raspberry, but the fruit colour is a dark red, rather than black...

 and youngberry
Youngberry
Youngberry is a complex hybrid between three different species from the genus Rubus, the raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries of the rose family. The berries of the plant are eaten fresh or used to make juice, jam, etc.Byrnes M...

. 'Marion', 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' are just three of many trailing blackberry cultivars developed by the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 Agricultural Research Service
Agricultural Research Service
The Agricultural Research Service is the principal in-house research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture . ARS is one of four agencies in USDA's Research, Education and Economics mission area...

 (USDA-ARS) blackberry breeding program at Oregon State University
Oregon State University
Oregon State University is a coeducational, public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon, United States. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees and a multitude of research opportunities. There are more than 200 academic degree programs offered through the...

 in Corvallis, Oregon
Corvallis, Oregon
Corvallis is a city located in central western Oregon, United States. It is the county seat of Benton County and the principal city of the Corvallis, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Benton County. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 54,462....

.

The most recent cultivars released from this program are the prickle-free cultivars 'Black Diamond', 'Black Pearl' and 'Nightfall' as well as the very early ripening 'Obsidian' and 'Metolius'. 'Black Diamond' is now the leading cultivar being planted in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the other cultivars from this program are 'Waldo', 'Siskiyou', 'Black Butte', 'Kotata
Kotata Berry
Kotata is a blackberry cultivar with a diverse ancestry in a few Rubus species including western and eastern North American blackberry species and red raspberry. 'Kotata' was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis, Oregon, United States...

', 'Pacific' and 'Cascade'.

Trailing blackberries are vigorous, crown forming, require a trellis
Trellis (agriculture)
A trellis is an architectural structure, usually made from interwoven pieces of wood, bamboo or metal that is often made to support climbing plants...

 for support, and are less cold hardy than the erect or semi-erect blackberries. In addition to the U.S. Pacific Northwest, these types do well in similar climates such as the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and the Mediterranean countries.

Semi-erect, prickle-free blackberries were first developed at the John Innes Centre
John Innes Centre
The John Innes Centre located in Norwich, Norfolk, England is an independent centre for research and training in plant and microbial science...

 in Norwich
Norwich
Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

, UK, and subsequently by the USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland
Beltsville, Maryland
Beltsville is a census-designated place in northern Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 15,691 at the 2000 census. Beltsville includes the unincorporated community of Vansville.-Geography:...

. These are crown forming, very vigorous, and need a trellis for support. Cultivars include 'Black Satin' 'Chester Thornless', 'Dirksen Thornless', 'Hull Thornless', 'Loch Ness', 'Loch Tay', 'Merton Thornless', 'Smoothstem' and 'Triple Crown'. Recently, the cultivar 'Cacanska Bestrna' (also called 'Cacak Thornless') has been developed in Serbia and has been planted on many thousands of hectares there.

The University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas is a public, co-educational, land-grant, space-grant, research university. It is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with very high research activity. It is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System and is located in...

 has developed cultivars of erect blackberries. These types are less vigorous than the semi-erect types and produce new canes from root initials (therefore they spread underground like raspberries
Raspberry
The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves...

). There are prickly and prickle-free cultivars from this program, including 'Navaho', 'Ouachita', 'Cherokee', 'Apache', 'Arapaho' and 'Kiowa'. They are also responsible for developing the primocane fruiting blackberries such as 'Prime-Jan' and 'Prime-Jim'.

In raspberries, these types are called primocane fruiting, fall fruiting, or everbearing. 'Prime-Jim' and 'Prime-Jan' were released in 2004 and are the first cultivars of primocane fruiting blackberry. They grow much like the other erect cultivars described above, however the canes that emerge in the spring, will flower in mid-summer and fruit in late summer or fall. The fall crop has its highest quality when it ripens in cool mild climate such as in California or the Pacific Northwest.

'Illini Hardy' a semi-erect prickly cultivar introduced by the University of Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

 is cane hardy in zone 5, where traditionally blackberry production has been problematic, since canes often failed to survive the winter.

The blackberry tends to be red during its unripe ("green") phase, leading to an old expression that "blackberries are red when they're green".

In various parts of the United States, wild blackberries are sometimes called "Black-caps", a term more commonly used for black raspberries, Rubus occidentalis
Rubus occidentalis
Rubus occidentalis is a species of Rubus native to eastern North America. Its common name black raspberry is shared with the closely related western American species Rubus leucodermis...

.

Blackberry production in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 has expanded enormously in the past decade. While once based on the cultivar 'Brazos', an old erect blackberry cultivar developed in Texas in 1959, the Mexican industry is now dominated by the Brazilian 'Tupy' released in the 1990s. 'Tupy' has the erect blackberry 'Comanche' and a "wild Uruguayan blackberry" as parents. Since there are no native blackberries in Uruguay, the suspicion is that the widely grown 'Boysenberry
Boysenberry
A boysenberry is a cross between a European Raspberry , a Common Blackberry , and a Loganberry ....

' is the male parent. In order to produce these blackberries in regions of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 where there is no winter chilling to stimulate flower bud development, chemical defoliation and application of growth regulators are used to bring the plants into bloom.

Nutrients and antioxidant qualities

Blackberries are notable for their high nutritional contents of dietary fiber
Dietary fiber
Dietary fiber, dietary fibre, or sometimes roughage is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components:* soluble fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts, and* insoluble fiber that is metabolically inert, absorbing water as it...

, vitamin C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

, vitamin K
Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a group of structurally similar, fat soluble vitamins that are needed for the posttranslational modification of certain proteins required for blood coagulation and in metabolic pathways in bone and other tissue. They are 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone derivatives...

, folic acid
Folic acid
Folic acid and folate , as well as pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamate, and pteroylmonoglutamic acid are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9...

 (a B vitamin), and the essential mineral manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

 (table).
Nutrients in raw blackberries
Nutrient Value per 100 grams % Daily Value
Energy 43 kcal
Fiber, total dietary 5.3 g 21%
Sugars, total 4.9 g
Calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

, Ca
29 mg 3%
Magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, Mg
20 mg 5%
Manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

, Mn
0.6 mg 32%
Copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, Cu
0.2 mg 8%
Potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

, K
162 mg 5%
Sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

, Na
1 mg 0%
Vitamin C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

, total ascorbic acid
21 mg 35%
Vitamin A
Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a vitamin that is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of a specific metabolite, the light-absorbing molecule retinal, that is necessary for both low-light and color vision...

, IU
214 IU 4%
Vitamin K
Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a group of structurally similar, fat soluble vitamins that are needed for the posttranslational modification of certain proteins required for blood coagulation and in metabolic pathways in bone and other tissue. They are 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone derivatives...

, µg
20 µg 25%
Folic acid
Folic acid
Folic acid and folate , as well as pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamate, and pteroylmonoglutamic acid are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9...

, µg
36 µg 9%
Carotene
Carotene
The term carotene is used for several related unsaturated hydrocarbon substances having the formula C40Hx, which are synthesized by plants but cannot be made by animals. Carotene is an orange photosynthetic pigment important for photosynthesis. Carotenes are all coloured to the human eye...

, beta
128 µg ne
Lutein
Lutein
Lutein is a xanthophyll and one of 600 known naturally occurring carotenoids. Lutein is synthesized only by plants and like other xanthophylls is found in high quantities in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale...

 + zeaxanthin
Zeaxanthin
Zeaxanthin is one of the most common carotenoid alcohols found in nature. It is important in the xanthophyll cycle. Synthesized in plants & some micro-organisms, it is the pigment that gives paprika , corn, saffron, and many other plants & microbes their characteristic color.The name is derived...

118 µg ne


ne: Daily Value not established


Blackberries rank highly among fruits for antioxidant
Antioxidant
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When...

 strength, particularly due to their dense contents of polyphenol
Polyphenol antioxidant
A polyphenol antioxidant is a type of antioxidant containing a polyphenolic substructure. Numbering over 4,000 distinct species, many of these compounds have antioxidant activity in vitro but are unlikely to have antioxidant roles in vivo...

ic compounds, such as ellagic acid
Ellagic acid
Ellagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables including blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, pomegranates, wolfberry and other plant foods...

, tannin
Tannin
A tannin is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.The term tannin refers to the use of...

s, ellagitannins, quercetin
Quercetin
Quercetin , a flavonol, is a plant-derived flavonoid found in fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains. It also may be used as an ingredient in supplements, beverages or foods.-Occurrence:...

, gallic acid
Gallic acid
Gallic acid is a trihydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid, a type of organic acid, also known as 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, found in gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves, oak bark, and other plants. The chemical formula is C6H23COOH. Gallic acid is found both free and as part of...

, anthocyanins and cyanidin
Cyanidin
Cyanidin is a natural organic compound. It is a particular type of anthocyanidin . It is a pigment found in many red berries including but not limited to grapes, bilberry, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, elderberry, hawthorn, loganberry, acai berry and raspberry...

s.

Blackberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity
Oxygen radical absorbance capacity
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples in vitro.A wide variety of foods has been tested using this method, with certain spices, berries and legumes rated highly. There exists no physiological proof in vivo that free-radical theory...

) of 5347 per 100 grams, including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Another report using a different assay for assessing antioxidant strength placed blackberry at the top of more than 1000 antioxidant foods consumed in the United States.

Nutrient content of seeds

Blackberries contain numerous large seeds that are not always preferred by consumers. The seeds contain some oil which is rich in omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid
Alpha-linolenic acid
α-Linolenic acid is an organic compound found in many common vegetable oils. In terms of its structure, it is named all-cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid. In physiological literature, it is given the name 18:3 ....

) and -6 fats (linoleic acid
Linoleic acid
Linoleic acid is an unsaturated n-6 fatty acid. It is a colorless liquid at room temperature. In physiological literature, it has a lipid number of 18:2...

), as well as some protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

, dietary fiber
Dietary fiber
Dietary fiber, dietary fibre, or sometimes roughage is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components:* soluble fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts, and* insoluble fiber that is metabolically inert, absorbing water as it...

, carotenoid
Carotenoid
Carotenoids are tetraterpenoid organic pigments that are naturally occurring in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of plants and some other photosynthetic organisms like algae, some bacteria, and some types of fungus. Carotenoids can be synthesized fats and other basic organic metabolic building...

s, ellagitannins and ellagic acid
Ellagic acid
Ellagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables including blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, pomegranates, wolfberry and other plant foods...

.

Folklore

Folklore in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 holds that blackberries should not be picked after Old Michaelmas
Michaelmas
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September...

 Day (11 October) as the devil
Devil
The Devil is believed in many religions and cultures to be a powerful, supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the enemy of God and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly...

 has claimed them, having left a mark on the leaves by urinating on them. There is some value behind this legend as wetter and cooler weather often allows the fruit to become infected by various mold
Mold
Molds are fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. Molds are not considered to be microbes but microscopic fungi that grow as single cells called yeasts...

s such as Botryotinia
Botryotinia
Botryotinia is a genus of ascomycete fungi causing several plant diseases. The anamorphs of Botryotinia are mostly included in the imperfect fungi genus Botrytis...

which give the fruit an unpleasant look and may be toxic.

See also

  • Black Raspberry
    Rubus occidentalis
    Rubus occidentalis is a species of Rubus native to eastern North America. Its common name black raspberry is shared with the closely related western American species Rubus leucodermis...

    , a North American fruit sometimes confused with blackberries.
  • Kotata Berry
    Kotata Berry
    Kotata is a blackberry cultivar with a diverse ancestry in a few Rubus species including western and eastern North American blackberry species and red raspberry. 'Kotata' was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis, Oregon, United States...

    , USDA-ARS release in cooperation with Oregon State University.
  • List of Lepidoptera that feed on Rubus
  • Redberry mite
    Redberry mite
    The redberry mite , is an eriophyid mite which is a serious pest of commercially-produced blackberries in the United States. The redberry mite is microscopic, requiring at least a 20× hand lens to detect. It has two pairs of legs and a thin, translucent appearance.Overwintering mites colonize tiny...

    , a common pest of North American blackberry crops.

External links


Further reading

Allen, D.E. and Hackney, P. 2010. Further fieldwork on the brambles (Rubus fruticosus L. agg.) of North-east Ireland. Irish Naturalists' Journal
Irish Naturalists' Journal
The Irish Naturalists' Journal covers all aspects of Natural History and has been published since 1925....

31: 18–22.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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