Dewberry – Rubus Flagellaris
Dewberry is an umbrella term for a group of plant types. The dewberry plant is closely related to the blackberry and raspberry plant and are considered a trailing berry species. The plant is classified as a trailing berry plant and is known to spread out over the ground. The brambles can easily be contained with lattice work, and occasional tiebacks are allowed. The dewberry is native to the Northern Hemisphere and can be found in the wild. Many property owners remove them thinking they are a nuisance weed.
The Dewberry bramble produces fruit that falls into the classification of aggregate fruits. When ripe, they are somewhat reminiscent of flavor to the raspberry. The berries change in color as they mature. They begin as small green berries. As they grow, they turn red, and eventually black.
Unlike many berry species, the Dewberry has a bale and female plant. In the plant world, this is referred to as dioecious, meaning that each plant has a mother and a father plant. They cannot reproduce on their own, and the characteristics of either parent can affect the specific characteristics of the offspring.
The dewberry begins to bloom in early spring. After the leaves begin to turn green, the bramble will develop small white flowers. Over time, these white flowers become small, hard, green berries. Over time, these green berries turn into softer, bitter red berries, and eventually into larger, soft purple berries. The leaves are green in color and are easy prey for small larvae. The muddy brown stems are typically covered with small thorns, or stickers, to keep small animals from harming the plant while they are preying on the sweet berries.
After the berries have turned purple, they can be eaten raw or used in recipes. The leaves can also be used to make tea.