Blackberry is a member of the Rubus genus, Rosaceae family. Nearly 250 types of blackberry variations are known to grow in Europe, North America and Mid-Asia. In the wild, blackberries grow mainly in dry valleys, hills and the rocky parts of the mountains.
A total of 100 blackberry types have been cultivated.
The fruits are very dark in color, nearly black. They contain carbohydrates, organic acids, vitamin C and carotene. The fruits can be eaten fresh or turned into syrups, juices, jams and alcoholic beverages. Blackberries can also be frozen and stored.
Recognizing the blackberry bush is relatively easy. Its leaves, flowers and fruits are quite specific.
The first way to recognize the blackberry bush is looking for thorns. The bush has climbing stems, which can often cling to fences or poles. The leaves are connected to a common stem – three to seven of them.
Blackberry leaves are egg-shaped and pointed. The edge is jagged and dark green on the top. The bottom side of the leaves is lightly colored and covered in pappus. You will notice small spikes on the bottom side of the main leaf vain.
The blackberry flowers are white and usually blooming together in a cluster. The bushes blossom from May to August, after which small fruits start forming.
Blackberry fruits themselves can hardly be confused with any other fruit. The fruit consists of 20 to 30 juicy, little fruits. Initially, it is green. As the fruit ripens, it turns red in color. When a blackberry fruit is fully ripe, it becomes black and shiny.
The color of the fruit is slightly sour. It is very aromatic.
You will find blackberry bushes in the forests, on mountain meadows, near roads and on slopes.
Keep in mind that the blackberry is a very important plant. Apart from having tasty fruits, it is used for medicinal purposes. The leaves are often used in the preparation of tea, since they are rich in vitamin C and other medically-used ingredients.
Blackberry has been known to medicine since ancient times. Greeks and Romans used the leaves to treat digestive problems and kidney conditions. Arabs utilized blackberry leaves as an aphrodisiac.
Blackberry roots are used in herbal medicine, as well. A blackberry root infusion is used to treat gastritis and menstrual problems. Due to their large vitamin C content, the fruits are very effective in the treatment and prevention of flu and colds.
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