Wednesday, June 8
One of the most prolific and easily found native berries in the United States, the blackberry despite its name, doesn’t produce berries at all, but rather an aggregate fruit composed of small drupelets. Of course these facts are lost on children all across the southern United States who visit the abandoned fields, roadsides, and waste places where the blackberry can be found, braving ticks, chiggers, and thorns in order to obtain the succulent fruit and its unique flavor. The blackberry can be eaten right off the bush, baked into muffins, mixed into pancakes, or used to make some of the finest jellies, jams, and preserves know to man.
The wild varieties of blackberry only bear fruit on the second year stems or canes as they are called, though some newly bred varieties can bear fruit the first year and may even be without the prickly thorns of the wild varieties. Wild blackberries can quickly form nearly inpenetrable masses of tangles canes and prickly thorns, and should be carefully managed if cultivated fro fruit to keep this from happening. For those who need a fast growing native plant to fill in a niche in their landscaping or gardening project the blackberry may well be the perfect choice. As a native plant the blackberry can be planted without the worry of it becoming an invasive species and the fruit and leaves are food to variety of wildlife, including many birds and deer. Whether for food or just as a beautiful and unique garden plant, the blackberry is hard to beat