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Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Rubus spp.

Brambles (Blackberry, Raspberry, Wineberry, Dewberry, Thimbleberry)

Plant TypeVine
Life CycleAnnual
Flower Colorwhite
Number of Petals5
HabitatSunny transition areas.
DistributionThroughout eastern US.
DescriptionThis group includes the familiar Blackberry and Raspberry (along with other species). These plants are arching or non-climbing vines known as canes. The stems have a variable number of thorns and/or bristles. Leaves with 3-7 leaflets. Five petaled flowers leading to juicy red to black compund berries.
EdibilityIn addition to the berries, which are delicious of course, the leaves can be used for tea. In fact, many commercial herbal teas use raspberry leaves as a base. Tender blackberry shoots can be eaten fresh.
Medicinal UsesA strong, concentrated tea has important medicinal qualities.
Utilitarian UsesStraight sections of the cane can be used as hand drills for fire making. The berries can be used as bait.
HabitatThese plants grow on field edges, usually forming a natural barrier.