Blackberry

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And hundreds more microspecies
(the subgenus also includes the dewberries)

The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by any of several species in the Rubus genus of the Rosaceae family. The fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit. The plants typically have biennial canes and perennial roots. Blackberries and raspberries are also called caneberries or brambles. It is a widespread, and well known group of over 375 species, many of which are closely related apomictic microspecies native throughout the temperate northern hemisphere and South America.[1]

Contents

Growth and anatomical description

Blackberries are perennial plants which typically bear biennial stems ("canes") from the perennial root system.[2]

In its first year, a new stem, the primocane, grows vigorously to its full length of 3-6 m (in some cases, up to 9 m), arching or trailing along the ground and bearing large palmately compound leaves with five or seven leaflets; it does not produce any flowers. In its second year, the cane becomes a floricane and the stem does not grow longer, but the flower buds break to produce flowering laterals, which bear smaller leaves with three or five leaflets.[2] First and second year shoots are usually spiny with numerous short curved very sharp thorns (thornless cultivars have been developed purposefully). Recently the University of Arkansas has developed primocane fruiting blackberries that grow and flower on first year growth much as the primocane (also called fall bearing or everbearing) fruiting red raspberries.

Unmanaged mature plants form a tangle of dense arching stems, the branches rooting from the node tip on many species when they reach the ground. Vigorous and growing rapidly in woods, scrub, hillsides and hedgerows, blackberry shrubs tolerate poor soils, readily colonizing wasteland, ditches and vacant lots.[1][3]

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