Blackberry Rubus fruticosus agg. 'Black Butte' (B)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
blackberry 'Black Butte'


Black Butte is a cultivar known for its fruit, commonly referred to as blackberries. The distinguishing feature of this plant is its large, sweet, and juicy blackberries, which tend to be a significant attraction for both gardeners and wildlife. The blackberries have a deep purple-black color when ripe and are composed of smaller drupelets that are clustered together around a core. The plant itself has robust and thorny canes that grow from a perennial root system. These canes bear large, green, pinnate leaves with serrated edges. The leaves typically have five or more leaflets that have a textured appearance. In spring to early summer, Black Butte produces flowers that are white or pale pink with five petals, which give way to the fruit in late summer to early fall. The overall appearance of the plant includes a combination of these canes, leaves, and seasonal flowers or fruit, creating a bushy and somewhat brambly aspect.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      European Blackberry, Shrubby Blackberry, Black Butte Blackberry.

    • Common names

      Rubus fruticosus 'Black Butte'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The most common common name for Rubus fruticosus agg. 'Black Butte' is blackberry. Blackberries, including the 'Black Butte' cultivar, are not toxic to humans when consumed as the ripe fruit. They are widely eaten and considered safe. However, other parts of the plant, such as the leaves, stem, and unripe fruit, can potentially cause mild stomach upset if ingested in large quantities due to the presence of tannins and other compounds. The thorns on the plant can also cause physical injury if not handled properly.

    • To pets

      Blackberry, which is what Rubus fruticosus agg. 'Black Butte' is commonly known as, is generally considered non-toxic to pets. The ripe berries of the blackberry plant are safe for pets to eat in moderation. However, similar to humans, other parts of the plant, like leaves and stems, can potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset if consumed in large amounts. Thorns can cause physical injuries. As with any non-typical food, it's important to introduce blackberries to pets slowly and in small quantities to ensure they do not have an adverse reaction.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • High Yield: 'Black Butte' blackberry plants are known for their high fruit production compared to other varieties.
    • Large Berries: The variety produces larger berries that are often preferred for fresh eating, cooking, and preserves.
    • Extended Harvest Season: 'Black Butte' has a longer fruiting period, providing fresh berries over a more extended period than some other varieties.
    • Attractive to Pollinators: Blackberry flowers attract bees and other pollinators, which are beneficial for garden biodiversity.
    • Erosion Control: The robust and spreading nature of blackberry plants can help prevent soil erosion in certain landscapes.
    • Edible Landscaping: Blackberry plants can be used in edible landscaping, providing both aesthetic value and food.
    • Wildlife Habitat: The dense brambles create a good habitat for birds and small mammals, which use them for shelter and food.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antioxidant: Blackberry leaves and fruits contain high levels of antioxidants which may help in reducing oxidative stress.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The plant has anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial in reducing inflammation.
    • Gastroprotective: Compounds in blackberry may offer protection against certain gastrointestinal disorders.
    • Antimicrobial: Some studies suggest that blackberry extracts have the potential to act against certain bacteria and fungi.
    • Antidiabetic: There is research indicating blackberry's potential to influence blood sugar levels.
    • Anticancer: Preliminary studies have shown that blackberry extracts may have anticancer properties, though this is not clinically established.
    • Cardiovascular health: Blackberries contain bioactive compounds that might contribute to the health of the cardiovascular system.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Blackberry 'Black Butte' canes can be woven into baskets or artistic sculptures due to their flexibility and strength once dried.
    • The thorns of the blackberry plant can be used as natural needles or for primitive fishhooks after careful modification.
    • Blackberry leaves are often used for dyeing fabric, yielding shades of green and yellow depending on the mordant used.
    • Berries from the 'Black Butte' blackberry can be used as a natural pigment for homemade cosmetics or inks.
    • The dense brambles of blackberries can provide a secure nesting site for some species of birds and small mammals.
    • Blackberry plants can be used in permaculture as a living barrier to deter pests and animals due to their thorny nature.
    • Dried blackberry leaves have been traditionally used to flavor teas, providing a subtle aroma and taste.
    • Overripe blackberries can be added to compost piles to enrich the compost with nutrients and speed up the decomposition process.
    • The sturdy blackberry canes are sometimes used in garden landscaping to create natural trellises for climbing plants.
    • Gardeners may use the thick growth of 'Black Butte' blackberry plants for erosion control on slopes and banks.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Blackberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Blackberry is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: The blackberry bush, with its thorny branches, has historically been seen as a natural barrier, offering protection against unwanted spirits or negative energies.
    • Abundance: With the copious number of berries it produces, the blackberry symbolizes abundance and plenty. It can also represent prosperity due to its rich, fruit-bearing characteristics.
    • Healing: Blackberry leaves and roots have been used in traditional medicine for their healing properties, symbolizing health and wellness.
    • Adaptability: Blackberry plants are very hardy and able to thrive in difficult conditions, representing adaptability and the ability to overcome challenging circumstances.
    • Providence: The widespread availability of blackberries in the wild has at times made them a valuable resource for sustenance, hence symbolizing divine providence and care.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late winter-early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Blackberries, such as the 'Black Butte' variety, should be watered deeply on a regular basis to ensure even soil moisture, especially during the fruiting season when they require more water to produce juicy berries. During the growing season, water the plants about once a week with approximately 1 to 1.5 inches of water, which equals about 0.5 to 0.75 gallons per square foot of soil. Adjust watering frequency according to weather conditions; more frequently during dry, hot spells and less often when rainfall is abundant. Ensure the water penetrates the roots deeply by using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to encourage deep root growth.

  • sunLight

    Blackberries, including the 'Black Butte' variety, perform best in full sunlight, requiring at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day for optimal growth and fruit production. Plant them in a location where they can receive unobstructed sunlight throughout the day, as shaded conditions can result in reduced yield and increased susceptibility to diseases.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Blackberries, like 'Black Butte,' are hardy in a wide range of temperatures and can survive winter cold down to about 20°F. However, they will flourish best in an environment where summer temperatures average around 70°F to 85°F. They can tolerate heat up to about 90°F, but prolonged exposure to temperatures above this can affect fruit development and plant health.

  • scissorsPruning

    For 'Black Butte' blackberries, pruning is essential to maintain plant health, encourage fruit production, and manage plant size. Prune in late winter to early spring by removing any dead canes and thinning out the canes to about six per plant to improve air circulation. Prune again after fruiting by removing canes that have produced fruit, since blackberries fruit on second-year canes that will not fruit again.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Blackberry 'Black Butte' thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter with a pH of 5.5-6.5. A mix of garden soil, compost, and peat moss can be used to provide nutrients and proper drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Blackberries, including the 'Black Butte' variety, do not typically require regular repotting as they are mostly grown outdoors. If grown in containers, repot every 2-3 years to refresh the soil.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Blackberry 'Black Butte' plants prefer a moderate humidity level and are adaptable to typical outdoor humidity conditions. They do not have specific humidity requirements when grown outside.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow in bright light, keep moist, and ensure a large enough pot.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun, moist soil, prune annually in winter.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The 'Black Butte' blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg. 'Black Butte') starts its life cycle when a seed germinates in warm, moist soil, usually in spring. The seedling develops into a vegetative plant with a central cane, forming a rosette of leaves on a thorn-laden stem. In the second year, the biennial cane produces lateral branches that will bear flowers and, eventually, large, juicy blackberries in the late spring to summer. After fruiting, the two-year-old cane dies back, and new primocanes (first-year canes) that have grown during the season will fruit in the following year. 'Black Butte' propagates vegetatively through root suckers and tip layering, ensuring the continuation of the plant beyond the lifespan of individual canes. As a perennial, the root system survives for many years, continually producing new canes for seasonal fruiting.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter-early spring

    • The most popular method of propagating the blackberry 'Black Butte' is through stem cuttings. This typically takes place in the early spring or late summer. The process involves taking healthy, vigorous cuttings from new growth that has yet to harden off (semi-ripe). The cuttings should be about 5 to 6 inches (12.7 to 15.24 centimeters) long, with several leaves left at the top. The lower end of the cutting is then dipped in rooting hormone powder to encourage root development. Afterwards, the treated cutting is planted in a mixture of potting soil and sand, ensuring that the soil stays moist but not waterlogged. It is important to keep the cuttings in a warm place with indirect light until roots develop, which usually takes several weeks. Once rooted, the new blackberry plants can be transplanted to their final location.