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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] black raspberries, blackberries in NC

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  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] black raspberries, blackberries in NC
  • Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2011 12:01:38 -0500

Black raspberries are native to much of NC. "Manual Flora of the
Carolinas" by Ritchie and Bell denotes these counties. This book
available in many libraries.

Depending on where you live in NC, there are native black raspberries
close by. These are somewhat smaller fruited than the named cultivars
for sale, but they are adapted to your area. And as Michael
mentioned, some of these native selections are quite disease
resistant. Native black raspberries often grow in with blackberries
and naturalized red raspberries. Once you can recognize the arching
clumps of silver-purple stems, they are easily spotted at highway
speeds. If you're not use to picking these wild ones, you're in for a
treat. And they tip-layer profusely, so it's often easy to find young
plants around your favorite patches.

Richard Moyer
While clearing our land in SW VA to access sugar maples; keeping our
native black raspberries and gooseberries, and naturalized

Thanks Richard.

How interesting. I had learned that our blackberries were naturalized
plants of European/ central Asian origin. Sure enough, when I check on
the site, they are listed as native to the lower
48. It had made sense to me that these were naturalized, as they are
quite a nuisance here. They quickly colonize disturbed areas and
pastures. They are hard to eradicate as if you leave just a bit of
viable root, they quickly resprout. They tend to form dense, thorny
thickets that even our abundant deer avoid. They have small, black
misshapen fruits, only a few drupes typically fill out. The fruits taste
terrible, they are very bitter.

To the best of my knowledge I have never seen a black raspberry here,
but I will keep an eye out now.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I functionally differentiate the two by
noting if the fruit pulls away from the core it is a raspberry, if the
ripe fruit retains the white core when picked, it is a blackberry.

Any other ID hints? The leaves seem very similar....

Betsy Hilborn
7a NC

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