Rubus occidentalis - L.
Common Name Black Raspberry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich thickets, ravines and borders of woods[43], often in full shade[62] and preferring moist positions[159].
Range Eastern and Central N. America - New Brunswick to Ontario, south to Georgia and Missouri.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Rubus occidentalis Black Raspberry
Rubus occidentalis Black Raspberry
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Rubus occidentalis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit - raw or cooked and used in pies, preserves etc[2, 3, 34, 62, 85, 101, 183]. It is of variable quality, with the finest forms having a rich acid flavour[2]. The hemispherical fruit is about 15mm in diameter[200]. Young shoots - raw or cooked like rhubarb[101, 161, 183, 257]. They are harvested as they emerge through the soil in the spring, and whilst they are still tender, and then peeled[K]. A tea is made from the leaves and another from the bark of the root[161, 183], 257.
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Cathartic;  Ophthalmic;  Pectoral;  Salve;  TB;  VD.

The roots are cathartic[257]. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of gonorrhoea[257]. The root has been chewed in the treatment of coughs and toothache[257]. An infusion of the roots has been used as a wash for sore eyes[257]. The root has been used, combined with Hypericum spp, to treat the first stages of consumption[257]. An infusion of the astringent root bark is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery[213, 222]. The leaves are highly astringent[257]. A decoction is used in the treatment of bowel complaints[257]. A tea made from the leaves is used as a wash for old and foul sores, ulcers and boils[222, 257]. A decoction of the roots, stems and leaves has been used in the treatment of whooping cough[257].


Other Uses

A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit[168].
Cultivation details
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[1, 11, 200]. Sometimes cultivated, especially in N. America, for its edible fruit[183], it is a parent of many named varieties[1, 34]. This species is a raspberry with biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die[200]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
Seed - requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200]. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn[200].
Other Names
Found In
Australia, Canada, North America, USA,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Actinidia rubus 30
Rubus abbreviansVermont blackberry30
Rubus acaulisDwarf Raspberry31
Rubus acer 10
Rubus adenophorus 20
Rubus adenotrichusMora Comun20
Rubus affinis 20
Rubus alexeterius 20
Rubus allegheniensisAlleghany Blackberry, Graves' blackberry32
Rubus almusMayes Dewberry, Garden dewberry30
Rubus amabilis 30
Rubus ampelinus 20
Rubus arcticusArctic Bramble, Arctic raspberry, Dwarf raspberry50
Rubus argutusHighbush Blackberry, Sawtooth blackberry21
Rubus arizonicusArizona Dewberry20
Rubus australis 20
Rubus avipes 20
Rubus baileyanusBailey's dewberry20
Rubus barbatus 20
Rubus bellobatusKittatinny Blackberry20
Rubus biflorus 30
Rubus bifronsHimalayan berry, Hybrid European blackberry, Hybrid blackberry10
Rubus bloxamii 20
Rubus buergeri 20
Rubus caesiusDewberry, European dewberry20
Rubus calycinusWild Raspberry10
Rubus canadensisAmerican Dewberry, Smooth blackberry41
Rubus candicans 20
Rubus caucasicus 20
Rubus caudatus 20


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Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
Pauline McCabe   Mon Jul 18 10:33:40 2005
The following appeared in '' newsletter. 'In May, 2005, scientists at Louisiana State University showed that black raspberries contain antiangiogenic compounds that are capable of restraining tumor growth. Antiangiogenic compounds work by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels, without which tumors cannot expand. The Baton Rouge researchers discovered that berries contain a "highly potent antiangiogenic fraction that accounts for only one percent of the fresh weight of whole black raspberries." The scientists consider it natural and potent enough to use clinically as a "promising complementary cancer therapy" '

Link: cancer decisions

VPJ Hood   Wed Dec 6 2006
LSU Congrats----you are onto another American Indian medicine. P.S. they didn't test it on rats or dogs because humans don't have any of the identical parts as a rat or dog .How many animals do you plan to torture? how much $$$$$$$$ from grants from taxpayers???? Sincerely VPJ Hood.
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Subject : Rubus occidentalis  

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