Is The Essential Wilderness Survival Skills Online Course Right for You? Take the Free Quiz!

Blackberry Plants - One of the Tastiest Wild Fruits

blackberry plants

By Filip Tkaczyk

Blackberry plants are one of the tastiest of all wild fruits growing on vines. It is a well-known and well loved plant found throughout the United States. Humans have had a good relationship with these plants for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Here are some things you might want to know about blackberry plants…

Blackberry Plants Versus Raspberry Plants

How do you tell raspberries and blackberries apart? Here are a few things that can help:

- Blackberries are generally purple to black, raspberries are generally red (except for blackcap)

- Raspberry fruits are hollow, blackberry fruits are solid inside

- Salmonberry is in the same genus, Rubus, as raspberries and blackberries

- Salmonberries are also hollow like raspberries

- The stems (canes) of raspberries are always round, blackberry canes have flattened surfaces or planes

How do you know it's a blackberry?

Blackberry's are distinct from other similar plants in several ways:

- They have 5-petaled white to pinkish flowers, the flowers give them away as being in the rose family

- The berry is actually a collection of tiny berries stuck together in a clump known as an aggregate fruit

- Blackberries have 3 to 7 leaflets that radiate from a central point, called a palmately compound leaf

- Wild blackberries have thorns all over their stems, some species also have thorns on the underside of their leaflets

- The fruits ripen summer to early fall, flower in the spring to early summer

FREE Mini Survival Guide: "Thriving in the Outdoors"

In this 9-page guide, you'll discover keys to starting a fire, building a shelter, purifying water, finding food... and many more life-saving skills.

Get your FREE copy now by signing up to our list. Discover more.

Uses of Blackberries

The blackberries have many uses, not just limited to the fruits themselves. The leaves can be dried completely and used as a tea. The plants can be used as hedges along property boundaries. The fruits of course are delicious in many forms including jams, preserves, in or on pancakes, muffins, breads, ice cream or frozen yogurts, and many other edible treats. Native peoples in various parts of North America once managed the landscape in favor of blackberries, using fire to keep areas open and create the disturbed habitat edges where blackberries thrive.


For more information check out some local field guides or take some edible plant classes.

- Newcomb's Wildflower Guide by Newcomb (provides a great, simple identification system)

- Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar and McKinnon (is one of the best plant guides for the Northwest)

- Discovering Wild Plants by Schofield (provides excellent information on harvesting, preparing, and recipes for wild plants)

For more information on the care of blackberries check out Arbor Day's blackberry page.

Learn more about wild edible and medicinal plants at our Plants Courses.

About the Author: Filip Tkaczyk is a periodic guest teacher at Alderleaf. He also wrote the field guide Tracks & Sign of Reptiles & Amphibians. Learn more about Filip Tkaczyk.

Return from Blackberry Plants back to Wild Plants Articles

Is The Essential Wilderness Survival Skills Course Right for You? Take the "Online Survival Training Readiness" Quiz

See for yourself if this eye-opening course is a good fit for you. It takes just a few minutes! Get your Survival Training Readiness Score Now!

Knowledge is Power - Grow Your Wilderness Skills! Get monthly updates on new wilderness skills articles, upcoming courses, and special opportunities. Join the free Alderleaf eNewsletter and as a bonus you'll get our mini survival guide:

wilderness survival guideThe Six Keys to Survival:
Get a free copy of our survival mini-guide and monthly tips!
Learn more