Scientific name: Rubus species
Abundance: plentiful
What: flowers, berries
How: open mouth, insert flower/fruit, then chew. seep flowers/young leaves in hot water for tea
Where: Sunny wastelands, borders between woods and fields. Dewberry plants grow as a low, horizontal ground cover.
When: Spring
Other uses: wine, jelly, tea, wine
Nutritional Value: carbohydrates, vitamin C; small amount of minerals and vitamins A & B
Dangers: sharp thorns

Medicinal Summary:
Root/Leaves - anti-diarrheal, soothes gastrointestinal inflammations, soothes skin inflammations (tisane)

Leaf Arrangement: Leaves are arranged in an alternate pattern along the stem.

Leaf Shape: Leaves are compound with three to five leaflets. Each leaflet is oval-shaped, measuring approximately 1 to 3 inches in length and 0.5 to 1.5 inches in width.

Leaf Venation: Leaflet venation is pinnate, with a central vein extending through each leaflet.

Leaf Margin: Margins are finely toothed or serrated.

Leaf Color: The color of the leaves is a deep green on the upper surface and a lighter green beneath.

Flower Structure: Flowers are solitary or in small clusters, located at the ends of the stems or axils.

Flower Color: The flowers are white or light pink, with each flower having five petals, measuring about 0.5 to 1 inch in diameter.

Fruit: The fruit is a small, aggregate berry.

Seed: Each berry contains multiple small seeds, which are hard and tan in color.

Stem: The stems are trailing or arching, with many small thorns.

Hairs: The stems and underside of leaves may have fine hairs.

Height: As a trailing plant, the height is typically low to the ground.

Ripe fruit.

Unripe fruit.

Getting more ripe.

Dewberry flowers.

Close-up of dewberry flower.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Dewberry vines can be found overrunning just about any sunny or shady open area. The dewberry plant creeps along the ground as a thorny vine as opposed to blackberries which grow in the form of an upright cane. Dewberries are common along Texas roadsides, fields, abandoned land, and woodland paths. The vines are quite thin, having diameters not much larger than the a pencil lead, but are tough and grow into impassable mats. The sweetest fruits will be found in areas that receive full sun but also plenty of water.

A delicious tea can be made from dewberry flowers in the spring and its young leaves spring/summer/fall. I recommend using the leaves rather than flowers so not to reduce the amount of fruit produced. For tea pick young healthy leaves in late morning after any dew has dried but before the sun has had a chance to evaporate the volatile flavoring oils out of the leaves. Dry the leaves before use for a richer flavor as that will allow the cell walls to break down some, allowing the flavoring agents to escape the cells into your cup. The combination of dewberry and yaupon holly leaves makes a most excellent and vitamin-rich tea rich.

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