Information on Thornless Blackberry Plants

Overview

Rubus canadensis, L. (Rosaceae), also known as thornless blackberry, is a deciduous, shrubby, dense-growth plant that inhabits fencerows, mountainsides and backyard gardens. It is prized for its berries and ability to thrive under less-than-ideal conditions.

Geographical Range

Much of the eastern portion of North America plays host to the thornless blackberry---from Tennessee to Georgia and along the East Coast of the United States to Newfoundland and Ontario in Canada.

Types

There are two main types of thornless blackberry plants: erect, such as the Arapaho and Navaho varieties, and semitrailing, such as Hull and Black Satin.

Propagation

The thornless blackberry is a prolific propagator, reproducing via layering, rhizome and root-crown sprouts, and seeds.

Uses

Thornless blackberries contain vitamin C and other antioxidants and are a valuable source of food and cover for wildlife. Because they can grow in inhospitable soil, they help revegetate and restore eroded, burned and cleared areas.

Cultivation

You can easily grow thornless blackberries in a sunny spot from rootstock or cuttings, using the proper combination of mulching, watering, pruning, training and feeding.

Interesting Tidbit

The thornless blackberry was used by the ancient Greeks as a remedy for mouth and throat ailments and during the Civil War to treat dysentery.

References

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Index of Species Information: Rubus canadensis
  • eXtension: Kentucky Blackberries Will Be in High Demand---Again

Who Can Help

  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Pruning and Training Thornless Blackberries
  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Home and Garden Information Center: Blackberry
Keywords: thornless blackberry plants, blackberry propagation, cultivate blackberries

About this Author

Chris Henning has been writing and editing for clients such as Meredith Books, Indiana University, Abbott Labs, Ernst & Young and Sage Publications since 1988. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Western Kentucky University and a certificate in copywriting from the University of Chicago’s Publishing Program.