Dewberry

Dewberry - Rubus caesius

Dewberry - Rubis caesius

Edible plant - novice

Other common names: European Dewberry, Blue Bramble, Theve Thorn

Season - Summer

Scientific name meaning: Rubus is from the Latin Rubra, meaning red. Caesius is also Latin and means light grey or blueish

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Habitat

Found in woodland, along hedgerows, on heathland and scrubland. It does well on poor soils and is a native of the UK

Leaves

The bright-green to dark-green leaves are trifoliate - having three leaflets. The base pair of leaflets often have a slight lower lobe, giving the leaf an almost palmate appearance. The leaflets' edges are toothed and the edge is often wavy. A small amount of prickles are present on the underside of the leaf

Stems

The round stems and scramble along the ground. They put down roots where their tip touches the ground new. The green stems brown with age and have a blueish cast to them. The stems have prickles, but considerably fewer than most species of Blackberry

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Flowers

The flowers of Dewberry have five white petals. They are in bloom in Springtime.

Fruits

The fruits are made up of dark purple, almost black, drupelets - but far fewer than in a Blackberry or Raspberry. The drupelets have a blue-grey cast to them. The fruits ripen in Summer

Possible lookalikes

Could easily be confused with Blackberry, however Dewberry has only a few drupelets that also have a blue-grey cast to them

Use as a food The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. It is widely considered to have a superior flavour to Blackberry.

The leaves can be used to make an infusion (tea).

Hazards None known at time of writing

Use in herbal medicine None known

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Importance to other species provides a food source for pollinators, birds and mammals

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!