Characteristics of Blackberry Trees (Morus nigra) in the Wild

Morus nigra
Blackberry is a plant species from the Moraceae family, native to southwest Asia. The tree itself has been cultivated since ancient times.

The blackberry tree is thought to originate from the mountainous regions of Mesopotamia and Persia. But now it is widespread throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Turkey.

In Turkey, this tree is called by the name Shahtoot (شاه توت), in Arabic Syajarat tukki, and in English-speaking countries, it is called Blackberry, Black Mulberry, and Wild Blackberry.

Other blackberry trees are sometimes confused because there are two species of blackberries that grow in the plains of tropical Asia, namely blackberries and whiteberries. Both can be distinguished, blackberry has a surface of the hairy bottom leaves while whiteberries are not hairy.

The blackberry tree (Morus nigra) was imported into England in the 17th century in the hope that it would be beneficial in the cultivation of silkworms. Unfortunately, that didn’t work because silkworms prefer to inhabit the whiteberry tree (Morus alba). Although hope was not realized, cultivation at that time left a legacy of large and old blackberry trees in many parks and yards of ancient houses in rural England.

Blackberry has also long been cultivated for the use of edible fruit. Today the blackberry tree is naturalized in most of Europe, including Ukraine.

 

Characteristics of Blackberry Leaf

Morus nigra Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Maitri

The leaves have a length of 10-20 cm, a width of 6-10 cm, with a rough, hairy bottom surface.

Morus nigra Flower
Source : flickr.com/Milo Manica

Characteristics of Blackberry Fruit

Morus nigra Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Fernando Picarelli Martins

Blackberries measuring 2-3 cm in size, cluster-shaped, taste similar to redberry (Morus rubra) but not like whiteberry fruit (Morus alba) which tastes bland.

 

Characteristics of Blackberry Tree

Morus nigra Tree
Source : flickr.com/Hornbeam Arts

Blackberry trees can grow as high as 12-15 meters in the wild. He likes dry soil and exposed to sunlight throughout the day.

Aside from being a fruit-producing plant, blackberry is also a tree that is often planted and maintained to be an ornamental tree in the yard, bonsai, and shade trees in rice fields.

 

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