|Rubus occidentalis subsp. var.|
Rubus occidentalis is a species of Rubus native to eastern North America. The common name Black Raspberry is shared with the closely related western American species Rubus leucodermis. Another common name for Rubus occidentalis is a Blackcap.
Rubus occidentalis is a deciduous shrub growing to 2-3 m tall, with thorny shoots. The leaves are pinnate, with five leaflets on leaves strong-growing stems in their first year, and three leaflets on leaves on flowering branchlets. The round-shaped fruit is edible, and has a high content of anthocyanins and ellagic acid.
The center for black raspberry production is in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The main cultivar, 'Munger', is grown on about 1500 acres. Other cultivars include 'John Robertson', 'Allen', 'Jewel', 'Blackhawk', 'Macblack', 'Plum Farmer', 'Dundee', 'Hanover', and 'Huron'. The plants are summer tipped by hand, mechanically pruned in winter and then machine harvested. The yields are generally low per acre and this is why the fruit are often expensive.
Black raspberry fruit are high in anthocyanins. This has led to them being very useful as natural dyes and, since anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, to a great deal of interest in them for their potential nutraceutical value. Extensive work has been ongoing at Ohio State University to evaluate their benefit for cancer treatment in mammalian test systems.
It is also closely related to the European Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus), sharing the distinctively white underside of the leaves and fruit that readily detaches from the carpel, but differing in the ripe fruit being black, and in the stems being more thorny. The black fruit makes them look like Blackberries, though this is only superficial, with the taste being sweeter and less sour than blackberries. In much of the Mid-Atlantic United States, Black Raspberries are simply called Blackberries, even though they are not. Hybrids between red and black raspberry are not unheard of and these are called purple raspberries; 'Brandywine', 'Royalty' and 'Estate' are examples of purple raspberry cultivars.
The species has been used in the breeding of many Rubus hybrids.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Rubus occidentalis, Linn. Common Blackcap. Strong, erect bush, the canes finally recurving and rooting at the tips, furnished with straight spines, glaucous, not bristly; lfts. broadly ovate, dull green above and white beneath, finely and sharply serrate and notched, the petioles usually bearing short prickles: fls. in small, dense, prickly clusters with sometimes a few scattering pedicels, the petals shorter than the long-pointed whitish woolly sepals: fr. rather small, hemispherical, firm or even hard, black or occasionally amber-white, dry and sweet. Plentiful in fields and clearings in the northeastern states and Canada to Ore. and Brit. Col. and southward to Ga. in the mountains, and to Mo.—In cult. known in many forms, as Ohio, Gregg, etc. Var. pallidus, Bailey, has amber-yellow fr.; sometimes found in the wild.
Describe the plant here...
Pests and diseases
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963