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Discover Nature: Blackberries begin ripening

common_blackberry_rubus_allegheniensis.jpg
Missouri Department of Conservation
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As we head into the middle of summer, keep an eye out in the woods for ripening blackberries.

The common blackberry, or Rubus allegheniensis grows as a shrub with branches reaching five-feet in height and eight-feet in length and arching high or being supported by surrounding trees or shrubs. 

The canes, or branches, grow green to reddish in their first year, and develop broad-based, recurved thorns.  In the canes’ subsequent years of growth, they will turn brown and produce clusters of white flowers from April to June. 

Flowers begin to yield deep violet-to-black, glossy, sweet, juicy, globe-shaped berries from late June through August. 

Look for blackberry shrubs in rocky, open woods, along bluffs and fencerows, on glades and in thickets, old fields, and open valleys. 

The berries are edible right off the cane, but also make great preserves, and pie-fillings.

Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Trevor serves as KBIA’s weekday morning host for classical music. He has been involved with local radio since 1990, when he began volunteering as a music and news programmer at KOPN, Columbia's community radio station. Before joining KBIA, Trevor studied social work at Mizzou and earned a masters degree in geography at the University of Alabama. He has worked in community development and in urban and bicycle/pedestrian planning, and recently served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia with his wife, Lisa Groshong. An avid bicycle commuter and jazz fan, Trevor has cycled as far as Colorado and pawed through record bins in three continents.
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