Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is this a wild blackberry plant?

This year, for the first time, I noticed some berries growing along my fence line. It looks an awful lot like my Navajo blackberry plant.  It's actually growing behind the Navajo Blackberry, but I know it's not a runner because the "mystery" plant has thorns, whereas the Navajo is thornless. Since I know next to nothing about wild edibles, I'm wondering if maybe some of the knowledgeable garden bloggers out there might know.  Do you think it's a wild blackberry plant? It looks like the same type of leaves of the Navajo plant, except it has little thorns on the stems.  And here are the berries that are forming.  They definitely look like a blackberry or raspberry of some sort. 
Here's another view of the leaves and berries.  I can't wait to see what color the berries will be when they ripen.  Since I know nada about wild food, I'm a little scared to try the berry, in case it might be poisonous.  I had tickets to go on a wild forage tour with Steve "Wildman" Brill in Central Park this past Saturday.  In the tour, he teaches you about edible plants, and he covers berries in his tour.  I was hoping to show him a picture of my wild berry plant and ask for his advice.  But since it rained on Saturday, the tour was canceled, and so I won't be able to ask him until I book another tour with him.  But maybe one of you know.  What do you think based on these photos?  Is it safe to eat?
And this is what the entire plant looks like.  It's not very large at all, but it sure has quite a bit of berries on it.  Oh please let it be a wild blackberry plant!  That would be so so so so so COOL, because that will mean I can forage in my own yard!

15 comments:

  1. I just went out in my front yard and clipped the wild blackberry leaves and compared to your pictures. Yes they are the very same as I have..They grow wild all over the Pacific NW, we have to deal with them everywhere. It is nice to have them close at hand but they get out of conrol very easily...you will have more soon. They are very tasty and I make jelly out of them as they are free and everywhere. They are very seedy though.

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  2. It may be wild, but my Navajo blackberry bushes all went from thornless to having thorns within 3 years. If the sprout below the graft line that's what happens since they use a different rootstock grafted to create a thornless plant. Happened to my raspberry bushes too LOL. Really the only way to keep them "thornless" is to keep the original plant pruned, and who wants to do that?! :)

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  3. That looks a lot like my raspberry. If the fruit stays red when ripe, then I'd say it's one.

    The southern wild blackberries have smaller leaves. The fruit on them all turn black.

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  4. Looks like a blackberry to me.

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  5. Can't say for sure but once they ripen you'll have a better idea. I doubt they'd be poisonous. Good luck.

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  6. Looks like a wild blackberry to me. Your thornless plant is safe. I've grown thornless blackberries for 25 years now - even used to grow them commercially for sale, never seen one "revert". As far as I know they are all planted on their own rootstocks, and not grafted.

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  7. Villager's got me thinking I got duped! Probably mis-labeling at Home Depot, I even dug out my tag and sure enough, they are labeled Navajo, but the darn things are full of thorns this year even though they started off with none LOL... wonder what I really have out there?!

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  8. I have the acres of blackberries and live where they are abundant. Give it lots of water and be careful, they are quite evasive. Enjoy!

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  9. Yes that's a blackberry. I have three acres of blackberries and live where they are abundant. Give it lots of water and be careful.. ..they are quite evasive. Enjoy!

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  10. I have the acres of blackberries and live where they are abundant. Give it lots of water and be careful, they are quite evasive. Enjoy!

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  11. OK, this is what some call "creeping dewberry" that crawls or climbs on thin viney stems. It is more or less a blackberry. I think there are some variants but this is probably Rubus flagellaris.

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  12. OK, this is what some call "creeping dewberry" that crawls or climbs on thin viney stems. It is more or less a blackberry. I think there are some variants but this is probably Rubus flagellaris.

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  13. This appears to be a creeping dewberry (Rubus flagellaris) or close relative with thin creeping or climbing vine-like branches. Pretty much a type of blackberry.

    David Spahr

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  14. This is creeping dewberry (or a very close relative) a type of blackberry.

    David Spahr

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