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Plant  Bramble

Bramble - Photo  Copyright 2001 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
If you go picking blackberries remember that many birds and mammals rely on blackberries for their survival too.


Latin name: Rubus fruticosus

Size: Grows to a height of around 100cms.

Distribution: Found throughout the UK.

Flowering months: May to September.

Habitat: Found mostly in woodlands, hedgerows, scrubland and wasteground.

Special features: The blackberry bush, is often called the 'bramble', Because of the way it grows, weaving its way through other plants and trees, farmers used to plant blackberry in amongst hawthorn hedges. This helped to bind the hawthorn together and make a stronger barrier.

The tough stems of the blackberry are armed with hooked thorns which serve two purposes. They deter grazing animals from eating them, and they also help to support the plant by latching onto other vegetation as it grows.

The stems can easily grow to a length of five metres, and when they run out of support, the tip of the stem droops to the ground, takes root, and sends up a new plant. In this way the blackberry can leap-frog over hedges and walls, and colonise new fields.

The rose-like flowers have five petals and are usually white or pale pink.

In late July the berries appear, green at first, gradually darkening to black by August. They can be eaten raw, or cooked in pies and jams. Although they taste good, they are best left for the wildlife.

Some people believe that when Satan was cast out of heaven, he landed in a prickly bramble bush! For this reason, in some English counties, the bramble fruits are not picked after St. Michael's Day (29 Sept) because the devil curses them!

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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved