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Monday, November 16, 2015

The Blackberry Fruit. - 'Hybrid' - fam: Rosaceae

The Blackberry is an edible fruit produced by many species in the Rubus genus, in the fam. Rosaceae, hybrids among these species within the Rubus subgenus, and hybrids between the Rubus and Idaeobatus subgenera. The taxonomy of the blackberries, has been historically confused because of hybridization and apomixis, so that species have often been grouped together and called species aggregates. For example, the entire subgenus Rubus has been called the Rubus fruticosus aggregate, although the species R. fruticosus is considered a synonym of R. plicatus.

What distinguishes the blackberry from its raspberry relatives, is whether or not the torus, receptacle, or stem, 'picks-with', i.e. stays with the fruit. When picking a blackberry fruit, the torus does stay with the fruit. With a raspberry, the torus remains on the plant, leaving a hollow core in the raspberry fruit.

The term 'bramble', a word meaning any impenetrable thicket, has traditionally been applied specifically to the blackberry, or its products, though in the United States, it applies to all members of the Rubus genus. In the western US, the term 'caneberry' is used to refer to blackberries and raspberries as a group, rather than the term bramble.

The usually black fruit is not a berry, in the botanical sense of the word. Botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets. It is a widespread and well-known group of over 375 species, many of which are closely related apomictic microspecies, native throughout Europe, northwestern Africa, temperate western and central Asia and North and South America.

Blackberry fruit are red before they are ripe, leading to an old expression that "blackberries are red when they're green". The soft fruit is popular for use in desserts, jams, seedless jelly, and sometimes wine. It is often mixed with apples for pies and crumbles. Blackberries are also used to produce candy.

Good nectar producers, blackberry shrubs bearing flowers yield a medium to dark, fruity honey. 1

REFERENCE: 1 - Wikipedia - Blackberry.


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