Blackberries are perennial plants which typically bear biennial stems (“canes”) from the perennial root system. In its first year, a new stem grows vigorously to its full length of 3-6 m, arching or trailing along the ground and bearing large palmately compound leaves with five or seven leaflets; it does not produce any flowers. In its second year, the stem does not grow longer, but the flower buds break to produce flowering laterals, which bear smaller leaves with three or five leaflets. First and second year shoots are usually spiny with numerous short curved very sharp thorns (thornless cultivars have been developed purposefully).

The flowers are produced in late spring and early summer on short racemes on the tips of the flowering laterals. Each flower is about 2-3 cm in diameter with five white or pale pink petals. The newly developed primocane fruiting blackberries flower and fruit on the new growth.

Blackberry Varieties:

Marion – trailing habit, medium to large berries, good quality & very flavorful; ripens midseason.

Arapaho Thornless – erect growing, medium berries

Chester Thornless – most winter hardy of all the thornless cultivars. Firm berry that ripens mid-August.

Triple Crown Thornless – vigorous, productive plant has numerous canes and laterals, which makes fruit more uniform and easier to pick. Firm, large fruit that matures 4 to 7 days earlier than Chester.

Olallieberries – tart in taste and usually used for pies. The Olallieberry season lasts from mid-June to mid-July.

Black Satin – large, luscious berries with unique tart/sweet flavor. Lose their glossy shine when fully ripe, around mid-July. Extremely vigorous, semi-erect. Can be grown in pots.

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