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Rubus Genus Plants – I was taking a stroll in the woods near my house when a persistent Himalayan blackberry gripped the inside of my trouser leg. The nasty cane, I swore as I unhooked it from my jeans and removed one of its protruding thorns from its snare.
Then I came upon a native blackberry, which I photographed and recorded on my phone’s GPS so I could share it with my pals.
What was it about discovering one member of the Rubus genus that was so exhilarating, and discovering another that was such a bad experience? Location, place, and still another location.
When we hear the word “bramble,” it usually conjures up images of something unpleasant. It might refer to a plant of the Rubus genus that has taken up residence in an area where we do not want it.
However, not all of them are negative. If you like raspberries, you are well aware of how wonderful these plants can be.
When something like amaranth grows in an unwanted area, we could refer to it as a “weed,” but when it’s planted in a region where we want it to grow, it’s referred to as a “crop” or a “ornament,” respectively.
Coming up, we’ll take a deep dive into the wild world of brambles in order to fully understand what they are and what they do. Here’s what we’ll be talking about:
Are you prepared to get your fingers soiled, both literally and figuratively? Let’s get started!
What exactly is a Bramble?
The word bramble is used to refer to anything that belongs to the Rubus genus. The term “brambleberry” refers to a plant that falls into this group. There are over 200 species in this category, including one that is truly known by the name “brambleberry” (R. arcticus).
As defined in Susan K. Pell and Bobbi Angell’s book “A Botanist’s Vocabulary,” “bramble” refers to “a prickly plant that is frequently explicitly referred to raspberries and blackberries [Rubus] and less often to its other cousins in the rose family (Rosaceae).
The term bramble derives from the Old English language and means something along the lines of “broom,” among other things.
All of these plants are perennials that behave like biennials — although the crowns and roots are perpetual, the canes are generated on a two-year cycle, but the crowns and roots are annual. It is during the first year of growth that the plants generate a primocane, which grows into a floricane during the second year of growth, which is where the fruits are formed.
Humans have developed certain varieties of raspberries from a genetic mutation that allows fruits to develop on canes from the first year, but generally, all fruits are produced by canes that are two years old.
Furthermore, if you’re seeking for a thorough reference that can clarify all of those complicated botanical words, Pell and Angell’s book is a fantastic resource to have at your disposal.
All of the species within the rubus genus are capable of cross-breeding or hybridization, which is how we are able to enjoy plants such as loganberries, boysenberries, tayberries, and marionberries in our modern lives.
When someone complains about the brambles in their yard, they’re generally referring to an invasive plant with enormous thorns on its branches.
In the United Kingdom, R. fruticosus is the species that is referred to in this manner. In the western United States, the Himalayan blackberry (R. armeniacus) is most often associated with the name.
Moreover, individuals do not mean it in a favorable sense — for example, “I can’t believe how much of my side yard the brambles have taken over this spring!”. for example, rather of saying something like “wow, I’m very delighted to see all of these brambles that have begun sprouting in the rose garden!”
Rubus Genus Species that are often Encountered
It’s most certainly a bramble if it produces biennial canes, thorns, and berries in abundance. Here are a few of the most frequent rubus genus species you encounter:
- American red raspberry is a kind of raspberry that is native to the United States (R. strigosus)
- Raspberry (sometimes known as “black raspberry”) (R. occidentalis)
- Boysenberry is a kind of berry that is native to the United States (R. ursinus x R. idaeus)
- The Canadian blackberry is a berry that grows in Canada (R. canadensis)
- Cloudberry is a kind of berry (R. chamaemorus)
- Blackberry, also known as common blackberry (R. allegheniensis)
- Raspberry that creeps up on you (R. calycinoides)
- Blackberry with a cutleaf shape (R. lacinatus)
- Dwarf red blackberry (Vaccinium vitis-idae) (R. pubescens)
- European blackberry is a kind of berry found throughout Europe (R. fruticosus)
- Dewberry from Europe (R. caesius)
- Himalayan blackberry is a kind of berry found in the Himalayas (R. armeniacus)
- Loganberry is a kind of berry that grows in the Loganberry region of the United States (R. x loganobaccus)
- Marionberry (R. ‘Marion’) is a kind of raspberry.
- Raspberry from the mountains (R. fraxinifolius)\
- Northern dewberry is a kind of berry (R. flagellaris)
- The red raspberry is a fruit that is grown in the United States (R. idaeus)
- Salmonberry is a kind of berry (R. spectabilis)\
- Stone bramble is a kind of bramble (R. saxatilis)\
- Tayberry is a kind of berry (R. fruticosus x R. idaeus)
- Thimbleberry is a kind of berry (R. parviflorus)
- Blackberry bushes that trail behind the house (R. ursinus)
- The blackberry of the West (R. leucodermis)
- Yellow raspberry (R. phoenicolasius) Wineberry (R. phoenicolasius) (R. ellipticus)
While blueberries and roses are members of the same family as brambles, they are not considered to be brambles in this context (Rosaceae).
Expansion of Requirements
All brambles have pretty similar needs, despite the fact that each species has its own unique characteristics. Even though they like a lot of moisture, they also need to be planted on soil that drains properly.
The majority need full sun, while some thrive well in partial light as well. Salmonberries, for example, are one of the few plants that can thrive in the shadow. Almost all are self-pollinating, while others need the assistance of a partner in order to produce fruit.
If you find yourself with these plants growing in an area where you don’t want them, it’s usually advisable to pack up your belongings and burn your house and yard down.
I’m kidding, of course! In a way, yes. In the event that you’re searching for a less harsh (and hence less successful) technique of control, there are a few options available.
First and foremost, as soon as you see a cane, take prompt action. It should be dug up from all sides and pulled up completely, roots and everything.
The ability to respond quickly is essential. A cane can multiply everywhere it comes into contact with the earth, and it is possible to develop over 500 canes in only 10 square feet. A dense clump of canes can generate up to 13,000 seeds per acre.
You can certainly understand how things might spiral out of control in a short period of time.
A thicket that has already formed should be dug up and the roots should be removed if they can be found and removed. Every bit of root you leave behind has the potential to grow into a new cane.
After that, trim any canes that may have formed during the following several months. You may do this by hand, or you can use a mower or weeder to cut them down in large groups. You must maintain consistency and be on top of the situation. It is inevitable that the roots will get malnourished, and the plant will die as a result.
Grazing livestock is also a very successful strategy. The introduction of cattle and goats helped my neighbor successfully manage an acre of overgrown, undesired vegetation. It took many years, but they are now completely clear of brambles.
You should use fence to protect any trees or bushes you wish to maintain, since these animals may be quite indiscriminate about what they consume. If you don’t want to keep livestock, you can rent them in many locations. If you don’t want to keep livestock, you can rent animals in many locations.
Brambles aren’t always a Bad Thing
The following are some of my favorite plants – and a few of my least favorites as well. It’s all about having a different point of view.
To be really honest, when I see Himalayan blackberries in the late summer when the fruits are ripe, it makes me very pleased.
And I’m always delighted when I come upon a wild raspberry bush. However, I am less than pleased when I see a cane growing up in my well kept vegetable garden, regardless of whose variety it is.
What are your thoughts? Do you intend to plant any Rubus genus in your garden? Alterna