Who doesn’t like walking through the countryside, picking a few berries from this delightful haven for wildlife? Rubus fruticosus aka the blackberry is a common sight in hedgerows throughout the UK and Europe. Flowering between May and September producing self fertile, hermaphrodite flowers (meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs) which are pollinated by insects such as bees.
R. fruticosus is a fast growing, deciduous shrub which often reaches 3 metres in height, growing in sandy, loam or clay soils which can be nutrient poor, but free-draining soils are preferable. R. fruticosus can grow in full shade, semi shade or full sun and can tolerate drought.
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- Fruits raw, dried or cooked
- Young leaves can be made into a herbal tea
- Young shoots can be picked young, peeled and eaten in salads
- “The root, bark and the leaves are strongly astringent, depurative, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary” (Plants for a future – Blackberry)
- Fruits from R. fruticosus can be made into a purple/blue dye
- Fibres from stems can be turned into twine