Black raspberry is a multi-stemmed, colony-forming shrub with white flowers, edible black fruits and colorful reddish stems in winter.
This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Acid soil
- Occasional drought,
- Occasional flooding,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- Commonly planted,
- Dangerous thorns,
- Excessive sucker growth,
- Messy fruit/plant parts
- Summer blossoms,
- Fall color,
- Edible fruit,
- Showy fruit,
- Showy flowers,
- Attractive bark
Season of Interest:
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Late winter,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Tree & Plant Care
Arching canes may reach 3 to 5 feet high, often forming dense tangled thickets.
Best in neutral to lightly acidic soils in full sun to part shade.
Prefers moist well-drained soil.
Disease, pests, and problems
Mildew, rusts, deer, wet soil, and salt
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity, heat, and drought
Native geographic location and habitat
Native throughout the Midwest and eastern U.S..
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Birds are attracted to fruits.
Bark color and texture
New canes are purplish-red with an abundance of white glaucous bloom and hooked prickles.
No terminal bud, canes readily root at the tips when they contact the ground.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, palmately compound, 3 to 5 inches long and wide.
3 to 5 leaflets with serrated margins, small prickles on petiole
Two-toned, light green leaves above, and paler (nearly white) below.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
5 petaled, short, 1/2 inch small greenish white flowers appear in late spring.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Juicy, red turning to black, multiple of drupes, 1/2 inch across, ripen in mid summer.
When picked they separate from the fleshy core forming a hollow shell.