Bramble refers to thorny plants of the genus "Rubus", in the Rose family (Rosaceae). Brambles include blackberries, loganberries, and other closely related plants. Bramble fruit is the fruit of any plant of the Genus "Rubus", such as the blackberry or the raspberry. The word comes from Germanic *"bram-bezi", whence also German "Brombeere" and French "framboise". In popular UK usage the term primarily refers to the blackberry bush; in Scotland and the north of England it refers to both the blackberry bush and its fruits.

Bramble bushes have a distinctive growth form. They send up long, arching canes that do not flower or set fruit until the second year of growth. Many types of brambles bear edible fruit, and many have recurved thorns that dig into clothing and flesh when the victim tries to pull away from them. Some types also have hair-like thorns. Brambles usually have trifoliate or palmately-compound leaves.

Bramble fruits are "aggregate fruits". Each small unit is called a "drupelet". In some, such as blackberry, the flower "receptacle" is elongate and part of the ripe fruit, making the blackberry an "aggregate-accessory" fruit.


Many species are grown and bred for their fruit. Ornamental species can be grown for flowers (e.g. "Rubus trilobus"), for their ornamental stems (e.g. "Rubus cockburnianus"), and some as ground cover (e.g. "Rubus tricolor"). The thorny varieties are sometimes grown for game cover, and occasionally for protection.

Most species are important for their conservation and wildlife value in their native range. The flowers attract nectar-feeding butterflies and hoverflies, and are a particular favorite of "Volucella pellucens".

Brambles are important food plants for the larvae of several species of Lepidoptera—see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Rubus.

Bramble leaves are used as a main food source for captive stick insects.

Birds such as blackbirds, and some mammals, will feed on the nutritious fruits in autumn.

Split bramble stems are traditionally used as binding material for straw in production of lip work basketry, such as lipwork chairs and bee skeps.


There are many different systems developed for the commercial culture of blackberries and raspberries. Bramble cultivars are separated into several categories based on their growth habit. They are either considered erect, semi-erect, or trailing.

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  • Bramble — Bram ble (br[a^]m b l), n. [OE. brembil, AS. br[=e]mel, br[=e]mbel, br[=ae]mbel (akin to OHG. br[=a]mal), fr. the same root as E. broom, As. br[=o]m. See {Broom}.] 1. (Bot.) Any plant of the genus {Rubus}, including the raspberry and blackberry.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bramble — (n.) O.E. bræmbel rough, prickly shrub (especially the blackberry bush), with euphonic b , from earlier bræmel, from P.Gmc. *bræmaz (see BROOM (Cf. broom)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • bramble — [n] thorny bush brier, burr, catch weed, cleaver, furze, goose grass, gorse, hedge, nettle, prick, prickly shrub, shrub, spray, thistle, thistle sage, thorn; concept 429 …   New thesaurus

  • bramble — ► NOUN 1) a prickly scrambling shrub of the rose family, especially a blackberry. 2) chiefly Brit. the fruit of the blackberry. ORIGIN Old English, related to BROOM(Cf. ↑broom) …   English terms dictionary

  • bramble — [bram′bəl] n. [ME brembel < OE bræmel < brom,BROOM] 1. any of a genus (Rubus) of generally prickly shrubs of the rose family, as the raspberry, blackberry, or dewberry 2. any prickly shrub or vine brambly adj …   English World dictionary

  • Bramble — Recorded in many spellings including Bramble, Brambell, Brambill, Bremmell, Bremell, Brimmell, Brimble, Brombell, and Brumble, this is an English surname. It originates from the Olde English pre 7th century word bremel , meaning bramble, and as… …   Surnames reference

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  • bramble — UK [ˈbræmb(ə)l] / US noun [countable] Word forms bramble : singular bramble plural brambles 1) a bush with thin sharp points on its long branches, especially one that produces blackberries (= small soft black or purple fruits) 2) a blackberry …   English dictionary

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