Rubus flagellaris - Willdenow
Rosaceae (Rose) Family
Plant is a trailing biennial with stems that usually root at the tips and have numerous short prickles. Preferred habitat is dry woods, dunes, drift zone of low-energy shores, fence rows, old fields and at roadside. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
Leaves are compound (composed of two or more similar structures) and somewhat evergreen; smooth or nearly so beneath.
Flowering stems have three leaflets; five on first year stems. Flowers usually appear singular on each branch; petals are longer than sepals. Flowers occur in the spring.
Fruit is a cluster of drupes that begin green and ripen to red or nearly black; the entire fruit cluster separating from the stalk with the central receptacle included.
A great many species of dewberry occur; some with bristles and some with stronger prickles. Southern Dewberry is widely distributed in the South. These plants and the related blackberry are among the most important summer foods for songbirds and game birds, as well as for many mammals. The fruit of dewberry is harvested by humans for making jams, jellies, cobblers and berry turnovers.