Tag Archives: blackberry

Purple Flowering Raspberry

Purple Flowering Raspberry – Rubus odoratus

General Information:

Rubus odoratus, commonly known as Purple Flowering Raspberry or Virginia Raspberry, is a deciduous shrub native to the eastern regions of North America. It belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae) and is closely related to other brambles like blackberries and raspberries.

Common Names:

Purple Flowering Raspberry is known by several common names, including Virginia Raspberry, Flowering Raspberry, and Thimbleberry.


The plant can grow up to 6 feet tall and has large, dark green leaves with three to five lobes. The stem is prickly and covered with fine hairs. The flowers are pink to purple and have five petals, which give them a rose-like appearance. The fruit is a small, red raspberry that is edible and sweet but not as flavorful as other raspberry varieties.

Purple Flowering Raspberry is native to the eastern regions of North America

Found in Rotterdam NY along the Mohawk River

The plant can be confused with other raspberry or blackberry plants, especially when not in bloom. However, the plant’s distinctive pink to purple flowers make it easy to identify when in bloom.


This raspberry is native to the eastern regions of North America, from Quebec and Ontario south to Georgia and Alabama. It is found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, meadows, and along roadsides and stream banks.

Preferred Habitat:

Purple Flowering Raspberry prefers well-drained soil and partial to full shade. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including sandy and rocky soils.

Edible Parts:

The fruit is edible and sweet but not as flavorful as other raspberry or blackberry varieties. The fruit can be eaten fresh, cooked, or used to make jams and jellies.


The fruit of ripens in late summer or early fall. It can be harvested by hand, but the prickly stems make it difficult to pick. It is recommended to wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting.

Interesting Facts:

Purple Flowering Raspberry is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and landscaping due to its beautiful flowers.

The plant has historically been used for medicinal purposes by indigenous people in North America.

The leaves and roots were used to treat various ailments, including sore throats, coughs, and fevers.

This raspberry is an important food source for wildlife, including birds and small mammals.

In conclusion, this raspberry is a beautiful and useful native plant that deserves a place in any garden or landscape. Its striking pink to purple flowers, edible fruit, and wildlife value make it a great addition to any ecosystem.


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. (2023). Rubus odoratus. Retrieved from https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ruod 
Missouri Botanical Garden. (2023). Rubus odoratus. Retrieved from https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=e681
United States Department of Agriculture. (2021). Plant Guide: Purple-flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus). Retrieved from https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_ruod.pdf

Blackberry Information


Blackberry fruit is sweet and tastes great but may be seedy
– Rubus procerus / ROSACEAE Rose family

Other Common Names for Blackberry: R. procerus: Himalaya Blackberry, raspberry, blackcap

The blackberry is a widely spread wild food that is easily identified. Not only are the berries edible but the leaves can be used in teas and infusions.


Blackberry can be a Shrub or bush-like perennial, can have trailing or climbing canes (most usual), thorned or smooth (usually domestic varieties). Blackberry leaves are simple and lobed to compound. Blackberry fruit is a berry generally in multiple drupelets. R. procerus: Bushy, large, dense clusters; stems stout, multiple, arching, thorned, up to 10 m long. As can be seen in the picture, blackberry leaves are divided into 3 or 5 leaflets, sharply toothed, 1.5-3.5 cm. Typically the fruit is black when mature. The flowers of blackberry generally are small and white. Bees are always active during flowering. Once flower petals drop fruit begins to develop. Unripe fruit looks segmented and like small examples of ripe fruit only white in color.


Blackberries are found throughout North America, generally in uncultivated and burn areas. Their habitat is extremely varied. Many times along roads or on the edge of border areas. This is one of my favorite wild fruits to pick while out on hiking or fishing trips.

Blackberry canes many times have sharp thornsSeason: Blooms in spring and early summer; fruit late summer and autumn. On of the earlier thorned stems to leaf out in the spring.


Young shoots in spring; berries ripen in late summer and autumn. The fruit can be very seedy so be careful.


The young shoots can be cut just above the ground, peeled and eaten raw or cooked. Beginning in late summer the berries of most species are available. The berry can be eaten raw, boiled down to a syrup, squeezed for juice, cooked with stews or made into preserves, pies, and even wine. Leaves can be dried and used to make a tea substitute.

Growing your Own:

Blackberry plants are fairly easy to grow. I have gone from “stealing” Blackberry leaves are generally in threes and are serratedwild cane to buying from a garden center. My experience is that domestic varieties are juicy and sweet while wild blackberry is sweet but rather seedy. The only wild blackberry I ever really liked as much as a quality domestic were the blackberries in the Pacific Northwest – Oregon and Washington. Anyway, I would suggest buying your plants from a quality supplier like Burpee. The blackberry should be planted late fall or early spring with room to grow and in a place where ‘pretty’ isn’t super important. The plants will spread through shallow runners. You will need to control the spread by planting in a raised bed or by routinely digging them out.

After harvesting your crop, it would be smart to treat the plants  with a preventative general purpose fungicide. It should help to prolong the life of your patch.

Other maintenance is cutting old canes (big brown) or dead canes back after fruiting.

Notes of Interest:

Noted for its sweet delicious taste. The berries and root have medicinal properties useful for treating diarrhea. Blackberries and strawberries are very high in ellagic acid which is an antioxidant.

Try our blackberry recipes

If you want to grow your own blackberry patch – use a quality company such as Burpee

Blackberry Roll Recipe

Blackberry Roll Recipe


1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar (divided use)
4 T. shortening
2/3 – 3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
6 cups fresh blackberries (divided use)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Powdered sugar
Whipped cream


To make your blackberry roll, combine flour, salt, baking powder and 1 teaspoon sugar. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender. If you wish, you can use a food processor. Be careful not to over mix and when adding the shortening to the processor just pulse 5 – 8 times.

Add milk; mix well. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured board; knead several times until you can form a nice round dough ball. With a rolling pin, roll out the blackberry roll ball to a thickness of 1/3-inch then brush with some melted butter.

Place the 3 cups of the berries evenly on the dough, sprinkle the 1/2 cup of the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg evenly around. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, pinching seams together. Brush with melted butter.

Place in a well-oiled – you can spray with Pam (less calories), 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Surround with remaining berries and sugar. Bake at 425°F. for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the blackberry roll with powdered sugar. Slice and serve with sauce from the pan and a dollop of whipped cream.

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Blackberry Trifle Recipe

Blackberry Trifle Recipe


12 ladyfingers or ginger bread
4 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons brandy extract
6 almond macaroons, crushed
8 cups vanilla pudding
4 cups whipped topping
1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds


To make blackberry trifle, mix flour and sugar, combine the berries and stir gently.

Arrange bottom halves of lady fingers (or crumbled ginger bread) in single layer in bottom of a 9 x 9-inch pan. Spread with blackberry mixture evenly around.

Place a second layer of ladyfingers on top. Mix orange juice and brandy extract. Pour over ladyfingers. Hand crush macaroons and sprinkle over top. Cover with pudding. Allow to chill and set for 1 hour. Spread whipped topping over pudding. Decorate with toasted almonds.

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Blackberry Pie Recipe

Blackberry Pie Recipe


Pre-made store bought pie crust
3 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of orange zest
3 cups of blackberries
2 tablespoons of blackberry brandy
2 tablespoons of sugar


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Sift 3 tablespoons of flour with 1 cup of sugar and mix lightly with the orange zest. Add the 3 cups of blackberries into the mixture then pour into the pie dish.

You can either cover the pie filing with the top crust (if you do so make sure you cut vents in the crust to allow steam to escape). If you decide to cover, brush the top crust with some melted butter and sprinkle some sugar evenly on top.

You can also take the top crust and cut it into strips and then make a lattice on top of the pie filling. Brush the top crust with melted butter and sprinkle on a very light coat of sugar approximately 2 tablespoons. This makes an amazing presentation when done correctly.

Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for about another 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. When you take the blackberry pie out of the oven pour the brandy into the vents or between the lattice.

If you want to make the blackberry pie go over the top, add a dollop of whipped cream on top and a scoop of vanilla ice cream along side. Then serve with some of the brandy.

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Blackberry Custard Pie Recipe

Blackberry Custard Pie Recipe


1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust
2-1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1-1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cups broken walnut pieces
1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon (may be omitted)


Bake the pie crust as directed on the package. Cool thoroughly.

Use a wooden spoon to press the berries through a sieve or strainer to remove the seeds. Discard the seeds and put the puree in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.

Sift together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add them to the puree and stir. Add the butter. Continue to stir until the sugar and butter are melted, and the mixture is creamy but not boiling.

Whisk several spoonfuls of the hot berry puree into the beaten egg yolks to temper them, then whisk the yolks into the puree in the pan. Continue to stir and cook until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat and simmer 1 minute.

Pour the berry mixture into the cooled pie crust. Cool to room temperature. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top. Using the back of a large spoon or the palm of your hand, very lightly press the nuts into the custard, just enough to set. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

When you are ready to serve, whip the cream with the brown sugar and bourbon until light peaks form. Serve slices of pie with a generous dollop of bourbon whipped cream on each.

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