Rubus allegheniensis

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Rubus allegheniensis
Rubus allegheniensis (Allegheny blackberry).png
Allegheny blackberry
1913 illustration[1]

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
R. allegheniensis
Binomial name
Rubus allegheniensis
(Porter) Porter 1896
  • Rubus villosus var. montanus Porter 1890 not Rubus montanus Lib. ex Lej. 1813
  • Rubus montanus (Porter) Porter 1894 not Lib. ex Lej. 1813
  • Rubus alleghaniensis Porter
  • Rubus allegheniensis var. nigrobaccus (L.H.Bailey) Farw.
  • Rubus allegheniensis var. plausus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus allegheniensis var. populifolius Fernald
  • Rubus attractus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus auroralis L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus avipes L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus bractealis L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus campestris P.J.Müll.
  • Rubus congruus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus fissidens L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus floricomus Blanch.
  • Rubus latens L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus longissimus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus nigrobaccatus Focke
  • Rubus nigrobaccus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus nigrobaccus var. sativus (L.H.Bailey) L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus nuperus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus par L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus paulus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus pennus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus rappii L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus separ L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus villosus Aiton
  • Rubus villosus var. engelmannii Focke
  • Rubus villosus var. montanus Porter
  • Rubus villosus var. sativus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus villosus var. villigerus Focke
  • Rubus gravesii (Fernald) L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus marilandicus L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus nigrobaccus var. gravesii Fernald
  • Rubus tumularis L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus uber L.H.Bailey
  • Rubus virginianus L.H.Bailey

Rubus allegheniensis is a North American species of highbush blackberry in section Alleghenienses of the genus Rubus, a member of the rose family.[6] It is the most common and widespread highbush blackberry in eastern and central North America. It is commonly known as Allegheny blackberry.[7]


The characteristics of Rubus allegheniensis can be highly variable.[8] It is an erect bramble, typically 1.5 metres (5 feet) but occasionally rarely over 2.4 m (8 ft) high, with single shrubs approaching 2.4 m or more in breadth, although it usually forms dense thickets of many plants. The leaves are alternate, compound, ovoid, and have toothed edges.[8][9]

Canes have many prickles, with white, 5-petal, 19-millimetre (34-inch) flowers in late spring and glossy, deep-violet to black, aggregate fruit in late summer.[8] It is shade intolerant.[10]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

R. allegheniensis is very common in eastern and central North America. It is also naturalized in a few locations in California and British Columbia.[11][12]

The presence of the species influences the dynamics of the understory vegetation of many forests in the eastern United States. An abundance of R. allegheniensis encourages new tree seedlings. Where the effects of herbivorous animals (such as deer) reduce the abundance of Allegheny blackberry, a competitor, Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern), takes over. Where D. punctilobula becomes common, the growth of tree seedlings is restricted.[13]

Concentrations of R. allegheniensis increase greatly after events that destroy taller shrubs and trees and thus permit more light into the understory, such as fires or widespread blowdown.[10][14] These populations often decline in later years as the tree seedlings sheltered by the blackberry canes grow and reduce the amount of light reaching the lower levels.[10]


The berries are edible and nutritious. People eat them raw and cook them into various treats, including pies, cobblers, muffins, jellies, and jams.[8]


Many mammals eat the fruit, including elk, foxes, bears, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, mice, and chipmunks, and deer will browse the young canes. Blackberries are also an important food source for many species of birds. The mammals and birds that eat the fruit then disperse the seed in their droppings, enabling the plant to spread to new locations. A wide variety of native bees, butterflies, beetles, flies, ants, wasps, and other insects are attracted to the nectar and pollen of the flowers, and caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles eat the leaves. Birds and small mammals use the thickets formed by the canes for shelter.[8]


  1. ^ Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 280. -
  2. ^ E.G. Voss A. A. Reznicek (2012), Field Manual of Michigan Flora{{citation}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Rubus allegheniensis". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  4. ^ Tropicos, Rubus allegheniensis Porter
  5. ^ The Plant List, Rubus allegheniensis Porter
  6. ^ Bailey, L.H. (1944b). "Species batorum. The genus Rubus in North America. VIII. Alleghenienses". Gentes Herbarum. 3: 504–588.
  7. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Rubus allegheniensis". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Common Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)". Missouri Department of Conservation Field Guide. Missouri Department of Conservation. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  9. ^ Flora of North America, Rubus allegheniensis Porter, 1896. Allegheny or common blackberry, sow-teat berry, ronce des Alléghanys
  10. ^ a b c Peterson, Chris J., and Steward T.A. Pickett. "Forest reorganization: a case study in an old-growth forest catastrophic blowdown." Ecology. 76 (1995): 763+. Retrieved 14 Oct. 2012.
  11. ^ "PLANTS Profile for Rubus allegheniensis (Allegheny blackberry)". USDA. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  12. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  13. ^ "Wildlife Management." The Princeton Guide to Ecology. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Vegetation of Hooper Branch Nature Preserve, Iroquois County, Illinois." Northeastern Naturalist. 17 (2): pp 261-272. 2010

External links[edit]