AskDefine | Define dewberry

Dictionary Definition

dewberry

Noun

1 any of several trailing blackberry brambles especially of North America [syn: dewberry bush, running blackberry]
2 blackberry-like fruits of any of several trailing blackberry bushes

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

dewberry (plural: dewberries)
  1. Small brambles of the genus Rubus which have stems that trail along the ground.
  2. The purple to black berries of these plants.

Extensive Definition

seealso List of early spring flowers The Dewberries (Rubus sect. Eubatus) are a group of species closely related to the blackberries. They are small 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 or jam.
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.
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.

Species

and many more
Dewberry is also used as the common name for other berries of the genus that become dew-like in texture and are as delicious as dewberries.
dewberry in Danish: Korbær
dewberry in German: Kratzbeere
dewberry in Lithuanian: Gervuogė (pogentė)
dewberry in Dutch: Dauwbraam
dewberry in Polish: Jeżyna popielica
dewberry in Swedish: Blåhallon
dewberry in Ukrainian: Ожина сиза

Species

and many more
Dewberry is also used as the common name for other berries of the genus that become dew-like in texture and are as delicious as dewberries.
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