They are closely associated with blackberries. Rather than high-arching or erect, they are small trailing or woody vine brambles bearing small bunches of fruits resembling raspberries. The dewberry fruit is edible and can be made into preserves, consumed fresh, or cooked into pies. They are commonly dark purple rather than red. Dewberries can be found all over Northern Europe and North America. The plant flowers between April and June.
What Does the Dewberry Plant Look Like?
The dewberry is a woody vine with curled prickles that root at the cane tips. The older stems are woody and brownish, while the younger ones are green. The density of flowers is moderate. The dewberry plant looks whitish and is characteristically subtended by a little leaf. They present in tiny clusters or sometimes on long stalks as singles. The dewberry leaves are complex, alternating, and roughly oval with sharp teeth. They are primarily three-divided, with each of the two lateral leaflets having a pointy lobe.
Similar to raspberries, the dewberry fruit is purple-red, with seeds that are more rigid and bigger in comparison to blackberry seeds. Its fruits are a deep purple, nearly black, and covered in a thin coating of waxy droplets. As a result, they seem pale blue. Dewberries are less popular since their tiny fruits have a distinct sour flavor even when completely ripe.
Characteristics and Growth Habit
The dewberry plant grows in a trailing habit and reaches a height of approximately two feet. Its red-haired stems are covered in hooked prickles (small thorns). Northern dewberries are low-growing perennial plants that grow like a woody vine, with stems reaching fifteen feet trailing the ground.
The dewberries are hard to pick since they naturally run close to the ground. Fruiting canes of dewberries are commonly attached to a wire trellis which helps to keep them off the ground, making the fruit more easily reachable.
Habitat and Cultivation
The dewberry plant occurs in abandoned pastures, fields, fencerows, thickets, or prairies. The European dewberry is often limited to coastal areas, especially dune environments.Most dewberries are self-fruitful. Cross-pollination is mandatory to produce a crop.
Dewberry Benefits for the Ecosystem
Several bird types, including finches, waxwings, and catbirds, relish dewberry fruits, as do opossums, box turtles, and raccoons. As a source of food, they keep the ecosystem going.
Dewberries Health Benefits
This fruit is rich in minerals and vitamins and has a low-calorie density, meaning its calorie count is low – up to 0.01 calories per ounce. The dewberry is a reputable source of Vitamins K and C – approximately 52.9% per calorie. Additionally, they contain low levels of potentially harmful ingredients like sodium, fat, and sugars – up to 0% per ounce.
Are Dewberries Edible?You can experiment with dewberries like with strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries. Blend them into a smoothie, add them to other fruit cake ingredients, make a cocktail, or add them to your fruit salad - are all viable options. You can also use dewberries to make jam, cobbler, or pie. Steeping the dry leaves in hot water can also make a healthy, herbal tea.
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