It's impossible to walk barefoot in the yard. The brambles are everywhere. Even wearing shoes does not protect ankles from getting scratched. Ouch!
But then this happens
Then some berry picking.
And finally this. A bowl of blackberries, er, um, berries that are black.
Now what are these exactly? I have no clue. They are brambles. They are berries. The berries in the bowl are not red, so we can rule out red raspberries. I wish everything in life started as easily. The berries are black. That's enough for me. They are black berries, but are they blackberries? Or black raspberries? Or something else?
Hmm, guess some research is needed; here goes.
Let's look at information about blackberries:
-They have a white core.
-are larger than black raspberries.
-have more shine/glossiness, are smoother than black raspberries.
-taste is more tart/sour than black raspberries.
Oh, great...now it gets confusing... When blackberries are unripe they are red.
Let's look at black raspberry information:
--Hollow in the center; no core.
-Smaller, shaped like a raspberry, have very small white hairs on the berry.
-Harvest is earlier than for blackberries.
-Have more antioxidants and anthocyanins than blackberries - not the first thing on my mind while I am out there pickin' and grinnin', but important to know if I am spending money to buy new plants.
Blackberries have only .5g of fat in a 1 cup serving; 13g of carbohydrates, 2g of protein, and with 7g of dietary fiber that's whopping 28% of our daily fiber requirement (old people like me think that's important), ZERO sodium and 6g of natural fruit sugar. They also have 6% Vitamin A, 50% Vitamin C (not a typo!!), 4% Calcium and 4% Iron of our average daily requirements.
Compare the underside of the leaves:
The underside of blackberry leaves is lighter than the upper side, but...looking at the black raspberry leaf, it's even lighter - almost white.
How about we look at the stems.
-Blackberry stems are green.
-Black raspberry stems are kind of whitish, here is a new word for me: glaucous = a blue/white color - maybe your eye will see it as a light purple color.
Oh, look closer.
-Blackberry stems have ridges/planes/angles.
-Black raspberry stems are lovely, round and smooth, and they might have a powdery coating.
-Throwing another monkey wrench in here: Thornless blackberries have round, smooth canes! This isn't working too well.
Now we will look at the thorns...Ouch! No, let's skip that part.
There are thornless blackberry varieties.
So far, all I have managed to do is rule out black raspberries.
Suppose I could carry this bowl of berries that are black to my local County Extension office and ask for an expert positive ID...no...not gonna do that. They would probably want to eat the berries.
I didn't plant these in my yard, the birds did that for me, so there could be more than one type of berry that is black growing here.
This could be a berry buffet. What are the possibilities?
Loganberry (No, but note to self: Get some of these!!);
Marionberry (Wasn't he the mayor of DC?);
Prickly Florida Blackberry (I live in Georgia, but the birds have no respect);
Salmonberry (Ooh, that's a pretty one!);
Tayberry (Yikes, look at the nutrients in this one, and it's named after a Scot. Add that to the "want" list.);
Wineberry (No. It might not like the climate in my yard);
Youngberry (No, but it originated in Louisiana, good to know.)
So many choices!
Still checking...this could take all night!
Sand Blackberry (Yep, probably have some of those.)
Sawtooth Blackberry (Yep, have that one too.)
Ah-ha, this may be another one:
Dewberry (...was a Lady; musical, words and music by Cole Porter...sorry, all this research is getting me kind of punchy).
Dewberries grow low along the ground as a trailing vine - grow 15 feet long; root where the nodes touch the soil; have small prickles rather than big thorns... Could be Dewberry (Rubus trivialis)
- bristles on the stems, evergreen leaves.
I have a bowl of Sand Blackberries, Sawtooth Blackberries, Dewberries, and more.
I don't have any blackberries. (Sigh.)
Let's get real. I'm gonna stop calling them Blackberries!
Oh, by the way, went out in the dark with my dog on a leash, my camera strap between my teeth, and a mini-flashlight in hand in an attempt to photograph the various brambles in my yard - yep, I am that professional. Well, would you look at this.
There are some NOID bramble plants that I appropriated, um, rescued last year because I thought they may be raspberries. They have not yet given me any fruit, but my research has taught me to look closely at details. Look:
The canes/stems have ridges/angles, there are thorns, they are upright growing canes that start to arch over when they grow tall...so I do have some blackberry plants after all......but, wait a minute. The cane has both thorns and bristles. Maybe it's just another NOID hybrid? Possibly a wineberry/blackberry hybrid?
This is driving me batty!!! Maybe I'll ask the birds.
According to The Fruit Nut
, "the study of members of the Rubus genus is batology."
I learn something new and confusing every day.
Think I need to join an organization of more knowledgeable folks.
North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association
(formerly called North American Bramble Growers Association (NABGA)