Blackberry Bush--Rubus genus Rosaceae family
Blackberry bush is botanically from the species Rubus genus in the Rosaceae family. Many different strains come from the same genus Rubus, with some being bread without thorns, while others are hardier for harsher climates. The bushes can be found growing wild in most states but do not transplant from nature well and should be bought from a nursery for yard planting. These are bushes that once established will produce fruit for 25 to 20 years and will produce several quarts of edible berries a few times per season. The bush produces small white flowers that grow in clumps and once faded the berry will begin to grow. The berries will appear white, turn red as they grow and as they mature they will turn to a purple-black when ripe. The stems of the bush become strong over time, but this is a bush that may need to have the trunk staked or grows well using a trellis or fence. If not staked or grown near a structure the bush can spread with branches on the ground until the trunk matures. The leaves are medium to dark green with toothed edges that widen in the middle with pointed tips. The blackberry bush when first planted will often get fruit the first year, though not in a significant amount. The following year they will have a higher yield of berries. The bush should be planted in well-draining soil that has a pH level between 5.5 and 7 for optimum growth and yield. The bush should be fertilized early in the spring, and in drought conditions, the bush should be watered weekly. The berries are edible raw, cooked, baked or made into jelly and a favorite of many species of birds. The bushes can be grown in large planters as a landscaping feature that also provides edible berries with either a trellis built in the planter or room for the bush to sprawl.