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Raspberry (Black)

Blackcap Raspberry
Rosaceae
Edible fruit

Eastern U.S. natives, black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis), also called blackcap raspberries, have blue-black fruit that is firmer and seedier than that of red and yellow types—and they have a more pronounced flavor as well.

These are produced on clump-forming plants with arching canes. Plant in rows, allowing about 4 ft. in width and 12 ft. in length. Expect them to grow 5 or 6 ft. tall. No support for plants is needed, but a good pruning program will help you manage them, since this year's canes produce next year's fruit. Clusters of white flowers appear in spring.

In the first summer, force branching by cutting back new canes to 2 ft. If you prefer trellising, cut to 2—2 1/2 ft.

In late dormant season, remove all weak or broken canes. Leave six to eight canes in a hill or spaced 6—8 in. apart in a row. Shorten the side branches to 8—10 in. The side branches will bear fruit in summer. After harvest, cut to the ground all canes that have fruited and cut back all new canes as described for first summer's growth.

Here are some varieties to get you started.

'Cumberland'. Large black berries. Old, heavy-bearing variety.

'Jewel'. Large black berries. Vigorous, disease-resistant plant.

'Morrison'. Large black berries. Productive, late ripening variety.

'Munger'. Medium-size black berries. Most popular commercial black-fruited variety.

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