Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Bramble flowers.

Rubus fruticosus (Bramble or blackberry flowers)

 A name often referring to the native blackberry bush, a thorny perennial plant that can often be seen growing wild amongst hedgerows and in gardens and woodland. It is able to tolerate even poorest soil types, and if left unchecked, often spreads, covering large areas of ground.
 Its distinctive growth of long ‘biennial stems’ also known as Canes, these are covered along their length in sharp spines or thorns. In late Spring/early Summer stems of white petaled flowers appear from the canes attracting many species of  butterflies, and other insects like hover flies and bees.
 As the flower petals fall away first signs of the green fruit begin to appear, growing in size during the summer and turning from red to black when fully ripened in the Autumn.
 The blackberry is one of a group of more than 350 different species found around the world, these include raspberries, cranberries and loganberries.
Edible Uses 
Fruit; Leaves; Root and New Shoots. 
Fruit either raw or cooked. The best plants have delicious fruits there are a range of types, because of this it is possible to obtain ripe fruits from late July to November. The fruit is also made into syrups, jams and other preserves. If the fruit is eaten before it is ripe and soft it can cause stomach upset. 
Root - cooked. The root should be neither to young nor too old and it requires a lot of boiling. 
A herble tea can be made from the dried leaves. The young leaves are best for this. 
Young shoots can be eaten raw. They are harvested as they emerge through the ground in the spring, peeled and used in salads.

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