Monday, July 6, 2009

Black Raspberries

Every year around the 4th of July the black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis) ripen. We have several patches on the property. There have been more but as the trees get larger, the berry patches are shaded out. The black raspberries, however, are much more tolerant of shade than the red raspberries. About 15 years ago, there was a huge patch of both red and black raspberries across the street in Homer Lake Forest Preserve. But as the honeysuckle grew and took over the area, the raspberries disappeared. The berries (they are not really berries but rather aggregates or drupes) are very tasty and eaten by many animals and birds. The wild turkey is especially fond of them as are blue jays, robins, cedar waxwings, cardinals,and the grosbeaks to name a few.

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