Bramble (Rubus fruticosus)
Called Bramble or Blackberry, this is a member of the rose family, and is a perennial which bears biennial stems from the root-stock. It grows vigorously and covering ground rapidly forming dense patches of vegetation. It is deciduous or semi-evergreen, with long prickles which can easily scratch or puncture flesh, even through clothing. The green leaves are palmate, and the branches will root on contact with the earth helping it spread. It can grow up to 2.5m tall. The flowers are 2 to 3cm wide, white or whitish-pink to pink, forming in late spring or early summer. The edible fruit, the blackberry, is a cluster of segments called druplets that ripen from green to red to purple-black.
It flowers May to September, and it thrives in almost any habitat and soil, but prefers woodland, hedgerows and scrub, where it may form thickets. A native species to the British Isles, and common and widespread throughout.
Blackberries have formed part of the human diet in Western Europe for thousands of years, and is also an important source of food in many ways for other mammals like dormice and deer, and also birds and numerous insects. It also offers a good form of shelter and protection.
Photographs taken of Bramble (Rubus fruticosus) on August 2016, local woodland path, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.