Blackberries (Rubus ulmifolius)

In the kitchen the blackberry is a good ingredient in pastries, to make cakes, but it is also common to accompany soups and gazpachos. The dried leaves of brambles can be used in infusions, they have urinary antiseptic, diuretic and slightly laxative properties. They contain mineral salts, vitamins A, B and C and high iron content (so they are very good for preventing and fighting anemia). They also have anticarcinogenic properties and lower bad cholesterol. In our municipality it is not necessary to look far to enjoy these summer fruits, they are proliferating more and more due to the fact that they invade streets with little traffic.

Harvesting: summer


Rubus ulmifolius
called blackberry, among numerous other common names, is a species of sarmentose shrub of the family Rosaceae and is popularly known for its edible fruits, called blackberries.


It has imparipinnate leaves, mostly composed of five petiolate and pointed leaflets, sometimes only three, quite variable, elliptic ovate or obovate, with serrated or serrated edge, dark green on the upper side and white-tomentose on the underside.

The flowers, pentamerous, have oval petals almost always pink, sometimes white, about 10-15 mm and the sepals are gray or tomentose-whitish. They grow in clusters, giving rise to oblong or pyramidal inflorescences.

Its fruit, the blackberry, is edible and consists of many small drupes rooted and joined together (polidrupa), red turning purplish black when ripe. Its flavor is pleasant although somewhat sour.

Habitat and distribution

It is a very invasive and fast growing plant that can also multiply vegetatively by generating roots from its branches. It can colonize large areas of forest, undergrowth, slopes or form large hedgerows in a relatively short time.

It is frequent in hedgerows and banks and its original distribution covers almost all of Europe, North Africa and South Asia. It has also been introduced in America and Oceania, with very negative effects as a weed; for example, in Chile and Uruguay it is considered an invasive species.However, The sale of its fruits and by-products is also a source of income for many families who harvest its fruits.


The blackberry is a sweet forest fruit very popular in confectionery for the preparation of desserts, jams and jellies and, sometimes, wines and liqueurs. The dried leaves, used as infusions, have astringent, urinary and oral antiseptic and diuretic properties. The blackberry contains mineral salts and vitamins A, B and C. Due to its high iron content, it is used to prevent and combat anemia. Among other powers, recent studies have shown that the high content of flavonoids (tannins also found in red wines) helps to prevent cancer and lower cholesterol.

The barks of the stems are used as basketry material and to make ropes.It is for example traditional material for sewing the straw hives or skep hives of Anglo-Saxon tradition still used today.

Another use, little known, is as a tobacco substitute.