HIGH-BUSH BLACKBERRY
File Size: 118 KB
 
Rubus ostryifolius  Rydb.
Riley County, Kansas
Shrub
Height: 3-8 feet
Family: Rosaceae - Rose Family
Flowering Period:   May, June
Stems: Erect or ascending, often arching, glabrous; prickles slender or stout, curved, reddish or brownish; tips yellow; bases somewhat widened.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked, compound; leaflets of first year stems usually 5, ovate to oblong-ovate, 2 to 4 inches long, 1 to 2 inches wide, terminal leaflet typically wider at or above middle, glabrous above, softly hairy below, midrib with few hooked prickles; margins coarsely toothed; tips pointed; leaflets of second year flowering stems 3, similar but smaller.
Inflorescences: 1-7-flowered, loose, elongate, terminal, lower flowers subtended by leaf-like bracts.
Flowers: Showy, 3/4 to 1 inch wide; sepals 5, green; petals 5, white; stamens numerous, anthers yellowish.
Fruits: Spherical, 1/2 to 1 inch long, juicy, initially red, turning shiny black when ripe; seeds egg-shaped, flattened, rough, straw-colored.
Habitat: Open woodlands, thickets, pastures, prairie ravines, and roadsides.
Distribution: East 1/2 of Kansas.
Uses: The fruits can be eaten fresh, cooked, or in preserves. Dense thickets of high-brush blackberry provide good wildlife cover. Many species of birds consume the fruits and spread the seeds.
Comments: Shoots grow from perennial rootstock the first year and produce lateral branches with flowers and fruit in the second year. Fruiting occurs in July.

High-bush blackberry flowers
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Riley County, Kansas
High-bush blackberry flowering stems
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Riley County, Kansas
High-bush blackberry flowers
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Riley County, Kansas
High-bush blackberry sepals
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Riley County, Kansas
High-bush blackberry leaves
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Riley County, Kansas
High-bush blackberry fruits
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Riley County, Kansas