Blackberry study

This spring there is a bumper crop of blackberries. The vines are spilling over from the neighbor’s yard like a waterfall and are loaded with clusters of ripening berries. Each cluster’s main central berry was a ripe dark purple-black. I’ve been wondering what kind of blackberry this is- last year I noticed that its not Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus). Upon closer inspection, it’s not a California blackberry (Rubus ursinus) either. It had enormous oblong fruit up to 40mm long!

I’ve done several pages on the blackberries so far this spring. This flower study was done from photographs I took back in April. It’s so neat how the different parts of the flower change over time- from blossom to fruit.

Nature journaling can be a great tool to help you learn more about a subject- I looked up in my various field guides and online resources to try to learn the different parts of the these flowers and fruit. I vaguely recall learning that blackberries and raspberries were aggregate fruits composed of ‘druplets’. But after drawing them in detail and think about them and making notes and connections, I’m much more likely to remember this information for the future!

Yesterday Emily and I picked nearly a pound of ripe, sweet, juicy blackberries. There is something really special when you pick a fruit from the plant, and eat it right away. Biting into the warm juicy fruit, you can taste the SUN in it. Only if everyone could enjoy such fresh food from the garden. Regardless of whether I ever find out the name of this plant, I’ve come to know it intimately through my curiosity-driven investigation and nature journaling. So the name doesn’t matter so much, I just know they are delicious and will enjoy this special crop of berries this season!

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