Sunday, July 3, 2011

Black Raspberry

While pruning back the Wisteria overtaking the front yard, I came across a hidden patch of Black Raspberry, Rubus occidentalis, of the family Rosaceae. There was a robin close by. I wonder if it was responsible for the berry picking?

Here's a bit of the FAQ from NARBA, The North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association:

Are raspberries and blackberries pollinated by bees? Most cultivars of blackberries, black raspberries, and raspberries are self-fruitful and do not require pollinizers, but honey bees are naturally attracted to brambles. Wind also aids pollination. Dewberries are self-incompatible, and must be inter-planted with other types for good fruit set.

Can I grow raspberries and blackberries plants from seed? Wild brambles often are, spread by birds which eat the fruit, but cultivated varieties are reproduced vegetatively by root cuttings, tip layering, or suckering. This insures that the exact same qualities of the parent plant are continued in the "daughter plants". Plants grown from seed are variable and unpredictable. Bramble breeders wanting to control the crosses put pollen of one type into flowers of another, grow new plants from seed that develops, and then choose the best of these for fnew cultivars or further breeding.

How do you tell the difference between a blackberry and black raspberry? The most obvious difference is that a black raspberry is hollow -- the core of the fruit stays on the plant when it is picked, while the core stays in a blackberry. Black raspberry fruit are also smaller, less shiny. and have a bluish waxy coating between the sections of the berry.


  1. Just catching up with you -been away for a few days. I was so surprised to see blackberries here and had to read about them. I found that your variety fruits nearly two months ahead of ours. Blackberries in the UK generally start to ripen at the end of August but it is going to be an early season for us too.
    I'm off to read your tempera posts now. Glad to know you had a brilliant time.

  2. Hi Judith! Yup, I had a fantastic two weeks!