Blackberry, as found in the kitchen garden is a hybrid of several blackberry species and has no species name.

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recognize blackberry
Photo: PlantEnPlagen

Blackberry, as found in the kitchen garden is a hybrid of several blackberry species and has no species name. Rubus comes close.
Woody plants such as raspberry, blackberry and currant can be planted as a hedge around the crop rotation beds. Such a hedge provides a lee microclimate near the vegetable beds and is attractive to bees. Do fertilize such a hedge regularly and don’t plant it too close to the vegetable beds (shade!).


Flower bud dries out: Strawberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus rubi).

Buds are eaten and larvae in blackberry: Raspberry beetle (Byturus tomentosus).

recognize damage redberry mite (Acalitus essigi).
Bramble infested Redberry mite, photo: CC0 Public Domain

Some blackberries in a cluster do not ripen, remain red and sometimes still hang on the branch even in winter: Redberry mite (Acalitus essigi).

Leaf shows little holes and warty spots on brambles: Common green capsid (Lygocoris pabulinus).

burr hole in stem of blackberry by Bramble sawfly.
Tunnel drilled into stem, drill remains around hole, photo: PlantEnPlagen.

Drill hole in stem of blackberry; drill remains can be found around the drill: Blue carpenter bee (Ceratina cyanea).

Recognizing grasshoppers
Saddle-backed bush cricket (male) on blackberry, photo: Martin Fousert

Saddle-backed bush cricket (Ephippiger ephippiger) among leaves; this grasshopper is useful because it eats bugs.

recognize forage damage raspberry
Lamina (leaf-blade) is eaten away between the veins, photo: Nathalie Mattelaer

At the end of the season, in autumn the leaves are attacked by larvae (caterpillars) of sawfly: the Bramble sawfly (Arge cyanocrocea) with its yellow-green larvae or the Turnip sawfly (Athalia rosae) with black larvae (caterpillars). The caterpillars are usually found on the underside of the leaf and eat the mesophyll between the veins.

recognize spider nests
Webbing with caterpillars of the brown-tail moth in sea buckthorn, photo: David Debruyne

Large webbings with tiny caterpillars in early spring when the leaves are just sprouting or the webbing in late fall, where the caterpillars overwinter:  the larvae (caterpillars) of the Brown-tail moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea).

Fungi & diseases

Fungus on leaf and blackberry; fruit rots away: Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea).

Stem spot disease, photo: Rasbak – CC BY-SA 3.0

Oval, reddish-brown to purple-brown spots appear on the branches: Stem spot disease (Septocyta ruborum).

Blackberry Leaf Rust Fungus, photo: Csiro – CC BY 3.0

Dark red spots on the top of the leaves; orange-brown spots appear on the underside: Blackberry Leaf Rust Fungus (Phragmidium violaceum).


recognize burns from drought and heat
Burnt and withered blackberry leaf, photo: PlantEnPlagen.

Leaves and young blackberries wither and burn during drought and a heat wave. A strong easterly wind exacerbates drought damage. See also: sunburn and drought damage.

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