Many variables go into successful production of blackberries and raspberries— from choosing the right site, variety, and planting stock to knowing how to care for and harvest this delicate fruit. Learn the key concepts to growing a healthy crop.
Blackberries and raspberries are members of the family Rosaceae and genus Rubus. They are known as brambles or caneberries, common terms for a diverse group of berries that includes blackberries, raspberries, dewberries, and their hybrids.
The flowers of blackberries and raspberries are composed of several ovaries. Once fertilized, each ovary gives rise to a drupelet. Together these drupelets form the aggregate blackberry or raspberry fruit. Blackberry flowers produce nectar and pollen that attract bees, which serve as pollinators. Honey derived from blackberry flowers is reported to be light in color with good flavor.
The crown and root systems of brambles are perennial (live for many years), while canes (stems) are biennial (live for 2 years). In spring, new canes emerge from buds on crowns or roots. During their first year these canes are called primocanes (first-year canes) and usually do not produce flowers and fruit. In the second year, following a dormant period, the canes flower and fruit and are called floricanes.
Primocanes grow rapidly in length following emergence and usually produce compound leaves. In contrast, floricanes do not increase in length but produce short, lateral branches with a few leaves and a terminal inflorescence (flower cluster).
To read the full version of this publication, download a PDF of Commercial Production Guide: Blackberry & Raspberry, ANR-0896.
For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations, contact Extension Communications and Marketing at 334-844-5696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edgar Vinson, Assistant Extension Professor, Horticulture, Elina Coneva, Extension Specialist, Professor, Horticulture, Chip East, Regional Extension Agent, Commercial Horticulture, and Jessie Rowan, Regional Extension Agent, Commercial Horticulture, all with Auburn University.
Revised February 2023, Commercial Production Guide: Blackberry & Raspberry, ANR-0896