Alphabetical Plant Listing

Rubus canadensis (Smooth Blackberry)

Smooth Blackberry, American Dewberry, Blackberry, Dewberry, Smooth Blackberry, Thornless Blackberry


Rubus canadensis (Smooth Blackberry) is a thicket-forming, deciduous shrub with long, slender, arching canes that are free of prickles and spines. The smooth stems are clothed with alternate, palmately compound leaves, 4-8 in. (10-20 cm) long, typically with 5 leaflets. In early to mid summer, a profusion of 5 petaled white flowers are borne in clusters of up to 25 blossoms. Rich in pollen and nectar, they attract many pollinators, including bees and butterflies. The blossoms give way to an abundance of small, edible, black berries which persist into fall. The berries are sweet, juicy and richly flavored. They are one of the most cherished wild blackberries and can be eaten fresh, dried, or made into preserves. Game birds, songbirds, raccoons, chipmunks, and squirrels feast on them. During the winter, birds and small mammals eat the seeds left from the rotted fruits. Smooth Blackberry spreads by underground rhizomes. It is an excellent colonizer and is able to grow on low nutrient soil, making it a species used to control erosion and recover eroded terrain. It can create extensive colonies or nearly impenetrable thickets that provide excellent cover for wildlife. Shade intolerant, it shows vigorous growth in full sunlight and invades and colonizes many types of disturbed sites. Native to eastern North America, Rubus canadensis occurs naturally in open woodlands, thickets, mountain ridges, recently disturbed sites and roadsides in cool and moist climates. Smooth Blackberry can be used as a hedge or barrier but use with caution. Smooth Blackberry can become aggressive and difficult to eliminate.

  • Grows up to 7-10 ft. tall (210-300 cm) and 6-12 ft. wide (180-360 cm).
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is best grown in slightly acidic, moist but well-drained soils
  • In late winter, remove any canes damaged by winter and thin, as needed, the remaining canes.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Propagate by division or stem cuttings.
  • Native to eastern North America from Newfoundland to Ontario and along the Atlantic Coast south to Georgia and inland to Kentucky and Tennessee.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Plant Type Fruit, Shrubs
Plant Family Rubus - Brambles
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 7' – 10' (210cm – 3m)
Spread 6' – 12' (180cm – 3.6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Southeast, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Plant Type Fruit, Shrubs
Plant Family Rubus - Brambles
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 7' – 10' (210cm – 3m)
Spread 6' – 12' (180cm – 3.6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Southeast, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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