Up and down the lane and along the edges of the farmer’s field there are lots of berries. Most are not quite ripe for picking yet, but it won’t be long before we have stained hands from collecting them.
There appears to be two varieties growing here and in several areas they are adjacent to each other. Looking up Rubus spp. in Gleason and Cronquist’s Manual of Vascular Plants, I see there are well over 200 species and hybrids. No wonder the wildflower field guides state that identification is best left to experts!
At the risk of being labeled an amateur I won’t be identifying the berry plants to species. What I do think we have are blackberry and black raspberry plants.
One of the berry plants has lighter foliage with elongated leaves. The berries are more rounded than those on the other type of berry plant – I think these are the black raspberry plants. The berries held in a cluster at the end of the stems are ripening one at a time. Delicious, they are!
The second type of berry plant is more plentiful and has more berries which are of an elongated shape. These are blackberry plants. The green fruit will get bigger before ripening.
It’s like a dream come true to have wild raspberries and blackberries growing on our property. I have fond memories of collecting them at camp as a child. Knowing that berries are a great health food makes me enjoy them even more as an adult.