Botanical Name: Rubus fruticosus
Common Names:Blackberry, bramble, European blackberry, shrubby blackberry
Blackberry is an erect but sprawling woody stemmed perennial semi-deciduous prickly shrub. If left it can grow up to 5m in height and 6m in length. When the stems touch the ground they will root at the tip.
The stems are often referred to as canes they can be green to even a reddish purple in colour and can be up to 3cm-4cm wide. The stems also have many prickles that can be either straight or slightly curved at the point. These help the plant spread and climb.
The leaves alternate the stem and are compound.They have 3 to 5 oval leaflets that are fine toothed along their edges. The leaves are arranged palmately and are dark green on top and grey green on the underside. They can grow up to about 10cm in length an 7cm in width.
The flowers are white to pink in colour and have 5 petals.They grow in bunches on the stems of the plant and each flower is around 2cm - 3cm in size.
The seeds/fruit (blackberries) are deeply pitted and made up of what looks like tiny balls (drupelets) each one contains a single seed. as the seed/fruit ripens it goes from a green colour to a red and finally a black colour we all (most) recognise. The seed/fruit can grow to around 3cm in length and around 2cm in width.
The root of the blackberry can grow to a depth of around 1.5m depending on the soil and conditions it is growing.
The leaves can be picked and used to make a tea.The tender young fresh stems can be peeled and added to salads.Mainly though the berries are picked and used to make all sorts of wonderful things from jams and pies to vinegar and wine!
Blackberry plant has been used to treat diarrhoea, whooping cough, toothache, anaemia, thrush, blood disorders, sore throat, mouth ulcers and dysentery.