Rubus fruticosus, commonly known as the Blackberry shrub, naturally grows throughout the UK. Other species that are more naturalized in North America, include the Rubus laciniatus and Rubus armeniacus. This deciduous perennial shrub can be planted in full sun, and the fruiting canes are best managed along a fence line. Even though the Blackberry shrub is known as “one of the easiest fruits to grow at home,” it has canes up to 6 feet long in every direction and can sometimes be difficult to maintain (Reference Arborday). The Natchez Thornless Blackberry and the Arapaho Thornless are good options because they are much easier and safer for children to pick from. This shrub flowers in zone 8 in the late spring and zone 5 in the early summer and produces berries, which turn from green to red to black. The window for picking a ripe berry may only be 24 hours, so berries require regular picking as they begin to ripen.
Blackberries are technically not considered berries, but instead are aggregate fruits which are composed of many drupelets. Blackberries are known for having a good amount of antioxidants and fiber which can provide health benefits. These healthful “aggregate fruits” can be used to make many different types of food including pies, jams, jellies, and even wine. In my personal experience, blackberry wine is unique and a good option if you’re looking to try new and interesting things. A good nonalcoholic drink recipe to try out is the “4th of July Blast Smoothie” which is perfect for the upcoming holiday. You can serve this blackberry flavored drink at a holiday party this summer, or just enjoy it by the pool.