Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

RUBUS occidentalis

Image of Rubus occidentalis

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

RUBUS occidentalis

Plant Common Name

American Black Raspberry

General Description

Bearing sweet black dome-shaped fruit in early summer, this native of central and eastern North America is the primary parent of the cultivated black raspberries. A spiny medium-sized deciduous shrub, it bears three- to five-parted compound leaves on attractively whitewashed purple stems. The arching stems often bend to the ground and root at their tips. The inconspicuous white flowers appear in spring. Plants flower and fruit on second-year canes, which die after fruiting.

Black raspberries grow best in full sun and well-drained fertile soil. Prune second year canes to the ground after they finish fruiting. Tie the canes to a wire trellis to keep them from flopping. Fruiting plants may require protection from foraging birds. Black raspberries make excellent plants for the culinary garden, and their ghostly stems provide winter interest.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-8' / 0.9m - 2.4m

  • Width

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Purple, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    White, Purple, Burgundy, Silver

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes