Also called “bramble,” Blackberries are the largest of the wild berries, up to 1 inch long when mature. Look for plump, deep colored berries without hulls. (If hulls are present, the berries were picked too early and will be tart.)
The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by many species in the Rubus genus in the Rosaceae family, hybrids among these species within the Rubus subgenus, as well as hybrids between the Rubus and Idaeobatus subgenera. What distinguishes blackberries from its raspberry relatives is whether the torus (receptacle) picks with the fruit, a blackberry, or remains on the plant when picked leaving a hole in the fruit, a raspberry. The term ‘bramble’, a word meaning any impenetrable scrub, has traditionally been applied specifically to the blackberry or its products, though in the United States it applies to all members of the Rubus genus. In the western US, the term caneberry is used to refer to blackberries and raspberries as a group rather than the term bramble.
The (usually) black fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets. It is a widespread and well-known group of over 375 species, many of which are closely related apomictic microspecies native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere and South America.
The soft fruit is popular for use in desserts, jams, seedless jelly and sometimes wine. It is often mixed with apples for pies and crumbles. Blackberries are also used to produce candy.
Blackberries are used in cocktails as well, their juice being a rather dark, it makes an excellent addition to drinks and liqueurs.
Blackberry syrup is popular for pancakes, waffles and other purposes.
Good nectar producers, blackberry shrubs bearing flowers yield a medium to dark, fruity honey.