European blackberry is native to northwestern and central Europe and is introduced in Australia and North America. This is a purple stemmed prickly Rubus
species with 3 to 5 palmate leaves that are hairy above, densely hair and soft below. Sepals are reflexed after flowering, and styles are a deep rose-red.
Taylor (2005) provides the following description: "The biennial vegetative stems dull purple, usually arching or sometimes prostrate, rooting at the tip,bluntly angled, conspicuously pubescent, with stalked glands and acicles; prickles 6 –12 per 5 cm, long, slender, straight, subequal, deep purple, confined to angles of the stem; roots not producing suckers. Leaves palmate, pedate; leaflets (3–)5, dull green, thick, hairy above, densely hairy and soft, often white-tomentose on the underside; terminal leaflet c. 8 × 6 cm, orbicular or obovate, with a cuspidate apex c. 1 cm, subcordate and evenly serrate-dentate, with undulate margin. Lateral flowering branches with 3-foliate and simple leaves, not leafy to the apex; inflorescence a panicle consisting of a cylindrical upper part 10–15 cm, with ascending 3-flowered peduncles 2–4 cm; axis hairy, with stalked glands, acicles and pricklets; bracts mainly trifid; flowers 2.5–3 cm in diameter, 5-merous. Sepals reflexed after flowering, with stellate hairs, short stalked glands and acicles; petals 10–13 × 7.9 mm, nearly round, white or together with filaments and styles deep rose-red; stamens numerous exceeding styles; anthers usually pubescent; hypanthium flat with a large convex, hairy receptacle; young carpels, many, hairy. The blackberry fruit a round head, up to 15 × 15 mm, of c . 40 single-seeded small fleshy edible drupelets, when ripe black without glaucous bloom. Each seed plus the hard endocarp (pyrene), 2–3 mm long, with a mean mass (n = 20) of 1.97 mg (Nybom 1987)." (Taylor 2005)
In its native habitat, European blackberry is found "shady woodlands, wood margins, scrub and hedgebanks. Often abundant on calcareous or clay soils, it is rarer on acid soils of heaths and moors." (Taylor 2005).
View an illustration of this species.