See also: Loganberry; Boysenberry; and Berries
The Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis) was designated as Kentucky'S Official State Fruit in 2004.
The blackberry is the official state fruit of Alabama.
Botanically, blackberries are not true berries, they are aggregate fruits forming from a single flower.
Blackberries are native to every continent except Antarctica, and there are up to 2,000 varieties, with more than 300 wild species in Europe alone. They can naturally hybridize and create new forms to adjust to climate, soil and other environmental factors.
The berries have been harvested since prehistoric times and have been used as food, medicinally and also as natural barriers due to their heavy growth and thorns - they were originally known as bramble or brambleberries (and still are in England).
In medieval England blackberries were considered unfit to eat after Michaelmas (September 29) as it was believed the Devil spat or urinated on them after that.
Most commercial cultivation is limited to the United States. There are literally thousands of varieties, including an albino 'white blackberry,' and the dewberry, which bears a smaller fruit.
The first commercial plantings in the U.S. were made in Beverley, Massachusetts by a Captain Lovett.
There are also red colored blackberries and sometimes they may be difficult to distinguish from raspberries. One sure way to tell them apart is that when the blackberry is picked it comes away from the plant with its core intact; when a raspberry is picked it leaves the core behind.
There are 16 people in the U.S. listed on whitepages.com with the last name 'Blackberry'
(Mark Morton, 'Gastronomica', Fall 2010)
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