Botanical: Dewberry, Rubus caesius 'Austin'
General Characteristics: Austin' Dewberry plants normally thrive in very poor soils that are well drained, but a little 8-8-8 fertilizer sprinkled above the vines in the Fall will increase the size and number of the berries. Some growers prefer to stake the 'Austin' plants for easier berry picking and cleaner berries. When staked or trellised the 'Austin' berries hang above splashing rain water.
First to ripen; sweet, vines close to ground. A cousin of the blackberry! If left to ramble, plants produce a 2- to 3-foot deep tangle of thorny stems. Trellising them can enhance fruit production, or you can train them on fence as a privacy screen. Blackberry-like dark green foliage and early summer flowers have decorative value in the landscape, and the long shiny black berries produced in mid to late summer are scrumptious. Use them as you would any berries in jams, pies, cobblers, turnovers, or just pick and gobble them fresh from the vine.