Berry Plants

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One of the berry plants is the black raspberry is a perennial plant with biennial stems or canes that grow from the perennial root system. During its first year of growth, the black raspberry grows to full height of 4 to seven feet with no branches and producing large pinnate leaves with five or seven leaflets. It typically does not produce any flowers. During the second year,, it does not grow any taller but grows side shoots which produce smaller leaves with three or five leaflets. The flowers come in the second year during the late spring on the tips of the side shoots, each flower about two inches in diameter with five white petals. The fruit is red and sweet but slightly tart and produced in summer or early fall. Botanically speaking, it is not a berry but a fruit that is an aggregate of an outer fleshy part around a central core, which can be picked separate from each other. The black raspberry typically grows in forests, forming open stands under a tree canopy, and denser stands in clearings. Its species name idaeus comes from its occurrence on Mount Ida near Troy in northwest Turkey, where the ancient Greeks grew in great numbers.

Another of the berry plants is the dewberry plant which is closely related to the blackberry plant and produces fruit that is similar to the blackberry in shape and appearance, though it is much larger than the blackberry plant and is typically dark reddish-black in color. The fruit from this plant completely edible and is often used in cakes, pies, fruit bowls and other food dishes. The plant itself is often described as a perennial plant, with regard to producing fruit, its growth may vary depending on the current fluctuation of the climate. The dewberry is self-seeding as well as self-sufficient, requiring little care in return bountiful harvests of its fruit. It grows best in partial sun and medium or dry conditions and tolerates almost any type of soil or environment, including but not limited to, clays, sand, rocky areas and soils and clays containing loam. The plant is unique in that it tends to ripen nearly two weeks before blackberries and other berries. It also attracts a lot of wildlife, including bees, butterflies, flies, caterpillars, moths, squirrels, chipmunks and mice, among others.

Another of the berry plants is the bunchberry which is a little plant, growing no more than six inches in height, primarily in moist, cool woods. The slender stem, with one or two pairs of small leaves, springs from creeping, woody shoots and is topped by a circle of six larger leaves, smooth and bright green in color, setting off a pretty white blossom, with a slender flower-stalk. This looks like a single flower, measuring about an inch across, but it is really composed of a number of tiny, greenish flowers, forming a cluster in the center, and surrounded by four white bracts, which look like large petals. The flowers are succeeded by a bunch of red berries, insipid in flavor, but vivid scarlet in color.

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Author: Tammy Sons

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