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  • From: Scott Smith <>
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  • Subject: [NAFEX] Old Blackberry Varieties
  • Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 10:27:56 -0400

I have an old blackberry called Lawton. Here is what Small Fruits of NY says
about it:

In a previous chapter we have seen that Lawton was the second named
blackberry, and that it played a very important part in the early history of
this fruit in America. It long ago passed into oblivion as a commercial sort
in eastern America, but is still grown rather widely on the Pacific Slope.
Lawton passed out of general cultivation because the plants are tender to
cold and very susceptible to the orange-rust. The berries are not at their
best until jet black, and are often picked too soon, when they are rather
austere in flavor, and this perhaps has given the variety a reputation it
does not deserve for fruits of poor quality. The variety was added to the
American Pomological Society's fruit catalog list in 1854. (For a fuller
account of the history see page 184.)

Plants tall, vigorous, upright-spreading, tender to cold, productive,
variable in susceptibility to disease; canes stocky, green changing to
brownish red; prickles numerous, large, thick; leaflets 5, dark green,
pubescent, with serrate margins, in double series; petiole long, thick,
prickly, pubescent. Flowers in compact, leafless clusters; petals white,
roundish; pedicels glandular, pubescent. Fruit late midseason, period of
ripening long; large, hemispherical to slightly elongated, jet black but
becoming bronzed when over-ripe; core large, rather hard; flesh soft, acid at
first, becoming sweet only at full maturity, rich, juicy; quality very good.


In my climate I found them too "turpentine" in flavor so I ripped them out.
It was still being sold by nurseries a few years ago.

Loganberry is also an old one that is still available, it is from the late
1800's. It is one of my favorites but is not hardy in my z6/7 MD climate and
is not productive.


  • [NAFEX] Old Blackberry Varieties, Scott Smith, 05/31/2010

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