Thursday, 18 June 2009

A Thorny Point

Two shrubs which are common in the hedgerows around here are the Blackberry and the Rose. Both of these plants are part of the same family. Firstly the Blackberry - or Bramble.

Blackberries (Rubus fruticosus) are in fact an aggregate species made up of many sub-species, all belonging to the Rosaceae family, including Raspberries, Dewberries, Salmonberries and Cloudberries. The family also includes the Strawberry! Well known to us all in the hedgerows, they produce large quantities of Blue-Black fruit in the Autumn which go well with apple when baked in a pie. You really have not lived until you have tried a bowl full of Blackberries, covered liberally with sweetened, condensed milk ('sticky milk' as we used to call it as children). Yummy!

These particular bushes are flowering profusely, which will hopefully lead to a glut of fruit for us and the birds.
The other member of the Rosaceae family I mentioned is the Rose itself. In this case, a particularly colourful shrub rose growing around one of the ponds at Straws Bridge.

These shrubs also produces lots of fruit in the Autumn, the familiar rose 'hips'. Shrub roses such as this one, bare very large, round, flattened hips. But, be careful of the thorns....

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