Plants and People Project

Blackberry - Rubus L.

Blackberry fruits called dupes, are rich in vitamins especially
Vitamins E and C. Blackberry

Many parts of the blackberry plant have been used for centuries to
treat a variety of illnesses. US Dispensatory, 1918

The fruits are eaten fresh, baked in pies and other confections, as well as preserved through making jam. They have been used to make wine and vinegars.

A tea made from the leaves was used to wash sores, ulcers and boils. Peterson Field Guides Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants

Many animal species feed on wild blackberries. Birds and mammals eat the dupes and spread the seeds. Wild blackberry flowers are pollinated primarily by bumblebees and honey bees.

"Wild blackberry plants can live for 25 years or more. They produce vines that arise from a central crown or from buds that form along rhizomes (horizontal, underground shoots). First-year canes do not produce flowers. In the second year, the canes fruit and die. Tips of first-year canes that contact the ground form roots at the nodes, contributing to the lateral expansion of the plant." Wild Blackberries - Pests in Landscapes and Gardens.

Because of their persistence and prickly manner, blackberries are considered noxious weeds by some gardeners. I have found them to be highly useful when I wanted to create a natural barrier against ner-do-wells who were damaging or stealing parts of my yard displays. Plus we enjoyed the delicious fruits in the summer!

DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past. Be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

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Posted 8/15/05 Cindy O'Hora