Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Northern Dewberry, Prickly Dewberry

Northern Dewberry, Prickly Dewberry

Rubus flagellaris

Sun to shade; medium to dry moisture level; loamy, clay loam, sandy or rocky soils; slightly acid to slightly alkaline pH.

8-12 inches tall but with stems up to 15 feet long that trail along the ground; blooms spring into summer; white flowers; oblong black drupes or fruit that ripens in late summer.

Growth Rate:  Very rapid; spreads by stolons to form mounded colonies.  Also self-sows freely.

Maintenance:  Susceptible to honey fungus.  Forms a dense thicket if left unmanaged.

Propagation:  Seed germination code C(90); seeds need scarification with sulfuric acid treatment.  Easy from cuttings, layers and seeds.

Native Region:  Scattered statewide

This deciduous shrub forms a prostrate, prickly, spreading briar.  Fruit has a pleasant, tart-sweet flavor and is edible for humans.  Has stout, curved thorns.  Important source of food for a wide range of wildlife.  Attracts birds, butterflies and bees.

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