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Northern Dewberry (Rubus flagellaris)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Northern Dewberry
Rubus flagellaris

A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit[168].

A black dye is obtained from the green twigs[207].

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is astringent, stimulant and tonic[257]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea, venereal disease and rheumatism[257]. An infusion has been used as a wash in the treatment of piles[257]. The root has been chewed as a treatment for a coated tongue[257].

    The leaves are astringent[257]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea[257].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked in pies, preserves etc[46, 61, 105, 161, 171, 183, 257]. A rich flavour[43]. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter[200].

    Young shoots – peeled and eaten raw[183]. They are harvested as they come through the ground in spring and whilst they are still young and tender.

    The dried leaves make a fine tea[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3¡c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200]. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn[200].
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[1, 11, 200]. A very polymorphic species[43], it is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit and there are some named varieties[1, 171, 183]. This species is a blackberry with biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die[200]. The plant produces apomictic flowers, these produce fruit and viable seed without fertilization, each seedling is a genetic copy of the parent[200]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
Eastern N. America.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.