The botanical name of Blackberry, Rubus fructosis aggregate, stresses the fact that for the sake of convenience several related species are dealt with under one name. The unifying name of Blackberry includes the following species: Rubus villosus, Rubus procerus, Rubus lacinniatus. We should also mention the common names for Blackberry. They are Bramble (owing to the prickly thorns), Cloudberry and Dewberry. Blackberry is a spiny bramble, which occupies millions of hectares of land in temperate regions of Australia. It spreads by tip-rooting. Provided the favorable conditions and an annual rainfall of 750 mm or more, its growth and spread are rather prolific. The Blackberry vine is a common representative of understory forest plants. When it receives enough sunlight, it produces tiny white flowers, and seldom fruit. Blackberry is characterized by a two year growth pattern. Flowering and fruit and seed yielding canes grow in the axils of the canes, which have overwintered. The average Blackberry bramble is made up of live first and second year canes plus dead material from previous years.
The compound Blackberry leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. They are characterized by heavily toothed, somewhat prickly edges and dense green color. Each leaf consists of three to five leaflets. It might be hard to tell apart Blackberry and black raspberries plants. However, there is one indisputable and evident distinction. The former have light green undersides, whereas the latter have silvery undersides. The berry itself, growing on a bushy vine, appears to be a cluster of little black knobs. Once the color of the berries is fully black, they are ripe and can be used for human consumption. Blackberries are quite often turned into jam or jelly. Deserts featuring blackberries are especially delicious. However, when it comes to the Blackberry plant, it is not only the exquisite taste of the berries that is made much use of, it is also its medical healing properties. In this respect Blackberry leaf is the most applicable. The essential elements of its chemical composition, such as tannins, gallic acid, iron and villosin, make the herb a potent remedy for diarrhea and the discomfort of the sore throat.
Among the components of the Blackberry fruit are the following: malic and citric acids, albumen, vitamin C, pectin, sugars, niacin, flavonoids, anthocyanins. Desiccated in a hot oven and reduced to powder, it forms potent cure for dysentery. The tannins present in the herb condition its astringent and diuretic abilities. They also make possible the blood vessel constricting effect, which in its turn inhibits bleeding. Root bark decoction proves highly efficient in counteracting diarrhea and treating whooping cough in the spasmodic stage. Blackberry leaves in the form of tea is a preparation very beneficial for children, whereas tincture is good for adults. The leaves of Blackberry can even be chewed to cure mouth sores and sore throat. They also make an excellent and powerful poultice for quick healing of insect bites and various wounds.