Wild Flowers of Pittsburgh

Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)

Thorny canes of blackberry can make the edge of the woods nearly impenetrable, but they reward us with these pretty (though often a bit sloppy) white flowers, and then of course with sweet blackberries. This stand grew at the edge of an old German Lutheran cemetery in Beechview.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

Calyx 5 (3-7)-parted, without bractlets. Petals 5, deciduous. Stamens numerous. Achenes usually many, collected on a spongy or succulent receptacle, becoming small drupes; styles nearly terminal. Perennial herbs, or somewhat shrubby plants, with white (rarely reddish) flowers, and usually edible fruit. (The Roman name, kindred with ruber, red.)

R. allegheniensis Porter. Shrubby, 1-2 m. tall; old canes purplish, armed with stout straightish prickles; leaflets appressed-villous above, velvety beneath; branchlets, pedicels (unarmed), etc., glandular-pubescent; flowers 2.5-3.5 cm. broad, racemose, only the lower leafy-bracted; petals narrowly obovate; fruit (rarely pale) generally subcylindric, of many rather small drupelets, of good flavor. (R. mllosus Man. ed. 6, in large part, not Ait.; R. nigrobaccus Bailey.) Dry open thickets and recent clearings, N. S. to Ont. and N. C., common.

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