What Are Brambles – Learn What Makes A Plant A Bramble

Bramble Bush With Red And Black Berries
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(Image credit: photohampster)

Brambles are plants that belong to the same family as the rose, Rosaceae. The group is pretty diverse and the members are favorites of gardeners who enjoy growing and eating berries. Both raspberry and blackberry belong to the bramble group. Let’s learn more about bramble bushes in the landscape.

What are Brambles?

Bramble is not a scientific term, but it is commonly used to describe certain members of the rose family of plants. It includes the shrub-like Rubus genus of plants that have thorns and produce edible fruit. The most well-known brambles are raspberries and blackberries, but there are numerous varieties of these as well as other types of brambles. Many bramble bushes often grow wild in certain areas but are also cultivated for the berries. In addition to raspberries and blackberries, dewberries, boysenberries, and loganberries are also brambles.

Characteristics of Brambles

What makes a plant a bramble is the presence of thorns, usually edible fruit, and belonging to the Rubus genus. Other characteristics of these plants include perennial crowns and roots and biennial canes, on which the fruit grows. Brambles may be very shrubby, have distinct canes, or grow trailing vines.

Bramble Plant Info for Growing

Growing brambles in the home garden is easy, especially in their native range in the northeastern U.S. Brambles need a lot of sunlight but some protection from wind and cold. They need slightly acidic, well-drained soil and will not tolerate soggy roots. Wild brambles may carry pests and diseases that infect cultivated varieties, so choose a planting location well away from any wild plants. Bramble varieties may be summer-bearing, producing fruit just once each summer, or primocane-bearing, which means both first-year and second-year canes bear fruit at different times. Knowing which you have is important for pruning. Use a 10-10-10 fertilizer each year as the brambles begin to bloom for maximum growth and production. Most types of brambles produce delicious, edible berries and are easy to grow in the home garden. They will give you a good harvest of berries by the second year so there is little wait time.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.