Ripening dewberries at Pamplico, South Carolina

The dewberries are a group of species in the genus Rubus, section Rubus, closely related to the blackberries. They are small trailing (rather than upright or high-arching) brambles with berries reminiscent of the raspberry, but are usually purple to black instead of red.

Dewberries are common throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere, sometimes thought of as a nuisance weed, but the leaves can be used for a tea, and the berries are sweet and edible. They can be eaten raw, or used to make cobbler, jam, or pie.

Around March and April, the plants start to grow white flowers that develop into small green berries. The tiny green berries grow red and then a deep purple-blue as they ripen. When the berries are ripe, they are tender and difficult to pick in any quantity without squashing them. The plants do not have upright canes like some other Rubus species, but have stems that trail along the ground, putting forth new roots along the length of the stem. The stems are covered with fine spines or stickers. The berries are sweet and, for many, are worth the scratches and stains that come from picking them.

In the winter the leaves often remain on the stems, but may turn dark red. The leaves are sometimes eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including peach blossom moths.

The European dewberry, Rubus caesius, grows more upright like other brambles, but is frequently restricted to coastal communities, especially sand dune systems. Its fruits are a deep, almost black, purple and are coated with a thin layer or 'dew' of waxy droplets. Thus, they appear sky-blue (caesius is Latin for pale blue). It is less sought after, because its fruits are small and retain a markedly tart taste even when fully ripe.

European dewberry growing on sand dunes at Newborough, Wales


  • Rubus Section Caesii, European dewberry
    • European dewberry, Rubus caesius L.
  • Rubus Section Flagellares, American dewberries
    • Rubus aboriginum Rydb., synonyms:[1]
      • Rubus almus (L.H. Bailey) L.H.Bailey
      • Rubus austrinus L.H.Bailey
      • Rubus bollianus L.H.Bailey
      • Rubus clair-brownii' L.H.Bailey
      • Rubus decor L.H. Bailey
      • Rubus flagellaris Willd. var. almus L.H.Bailey
      • Rubus foliaceus L.H. Bailey
      • Rubus ignarus L.H. Bailey
      • Rubus ricei L.H. Bailey
    • Aberdeen dewberry, Rubus depavitus L.H.Bailey
    • Northern dewberry, Rubus flagellaris Willd.
    • Swamp dewberry, Rubus hispidus L.
    • Upland dewberry, Rubus invisus (L.H.Bailey) Britton
    • Pacific blackberry, Rubus ursinus Cham. & Schltdl.

and many more

See also


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  • Dewberry — Dew ber ry, n. (Bot.) (a) The fruit of certain species of bramble ({Rubus}); in England, the fruit of {Rubus c[ae]sius}, which has a glaucous bloom; in America, that of {Rubus canadensis} and {Rubus hispidus}, species of low blackberries. (b) The …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dewberry — ► NOUN (pl. dewberries) ▪ the edible blue black fruit of a trailing bramble, with a dewy white bloom …   English terms dictionary

  • dewberry — [do͞o′ber΄ē, dyo͞o′ber΄ē] n. pl. dewberries 1. any of various trailing blackberry plants (genus Rubus) 2. the fruit of any of these plants …   English World dictionary

  • Dewberry — This interesting surname is of Anglo Saxon and French origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be locational from Dewsbury in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which is recorded as Deusberia in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as… …   Surnames reference

  • dewberry — noun (plural dewberries) 1》 a trailing bramble with soft prickles and edible blue black fruit with a dewy white bloom. [Rubus caesius (Europe) and other species.] 2》 the fruit of the dewberry …   English new terms dictionary

  • dewberry — gervuogė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Erškėtinių (Rosaceae) šeimos augalų gentis (Rubus). atitikmenys: lot. Rubus angl. blackberry; bramberry; bramble logan berry; dewberry; raspberry vok. Brombeere; Himbeere rus. ежевика; костяника lenk …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

  • Dewberry (disambiguation) — Dewberry may refer to one of the following: Contents 1 Plants 2 Places 3 People 4 Other 5 See also …   Wikipedia

  • Dewberry, Alberta — Dewberry   Town   Village of Dewberry …   Wikipedia

  • dewberry bush — noun any of several trailing blackberry brambles especially of North America • Syn: ↑dewberry, ↑running blackberry • Hypernyms: ↑blackberry, ↑blackberry bush • Hyponyms: ↑American dewberry, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • dewberry — noun Date: circa 1578 1. any of several sweet edible berries related to and resembling blackberries 2. a trailing or decumbent bramble (genus Rubus) that bears dewberries …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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