When is a Blackberry not a Blackberry?

The northwest corner of the Demo Garden is where all the fruit are planted. Half of the area is strawberries, the rest is currants, gooseberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Or at least what I thought were blackberries. When I came here, everything was labeled, and I took the labels at their word. The two blackberry plants were labeled as ‘Chester’ Blackberry. Blackberries and raspberries are fairly similar, so I didn’t think anything of it.

The blackberries have started ripening, which seemed a little early, and the fruit is very small for a blackberry. I was all ready to chalk it up to the variety, determined to make a point that it was the most pitiful blackberry plant I’d every seen.

But when I went to pull one of the ripe fruit off…it came off the plant without the core! This is one of the hallmarks of a raspberry. When blackberries are harvested, the “core,” scientifically called the receptacle, remains in the fruit and is consumed with the fruit. Raspberries separate from the receptacle when harvested. I have to say that I was a little miffed about the whole thing, because there were any number of indications that these plants were not blackberries, and I ignored them.

So, we apparently have a mystery black raspberry plant in the garden, and another mystery raspberry that as yet has produced no fruit. Which leaves us with no blackberries.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on June 10, 2009, in Around the Garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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