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Dewberry

Dewberry is a soft prickly black berrylike fruit, which is edible and has a dewy white bloom on its skin. Dewberries are common throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere, sometimes thought of as a nuisance weed, but the leaves can be used for a tea, and the berries are sweet and edible.

 

They can be eaten raw, or used to make cobbler, jam, or pie. Dewberries are sometimes confused with blackberries, but each plant has its own unique features. They are deep red in colour when unripe, and dark purple when ripe. The flowers are white. The fruit, which is edible as mentioned before, is dark reddish-black and is larger than that of the common blackberry. Dewberries belong to the rose family, Rosaceae.

 

Tea can be made from dewberry flowers or its young leaves. 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 flavouring oils out of the leaves. Dewberries are high in antioxidants as well as vitamins A and C. They are also low in calories.

 

They contain trace amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, zinc and magnesium. The stems are covered with fine spines or stickers. The berries are sweet and, for many, less seedy than blackberries and worth the scratches and stains that come from picking them.

 

Dewberries were valued for its medicinal properties. The Cherokee used an infusion of dewberry roots and leaves that was taken internally to treat diarrhoea and rheumatism. A similar infusion was used as an external wash to treat piles.

 

Dewberry is a very delicious fruit and nutritious too, they are a hardy perennial that needs very little attention. You may want to fertilize growing dewberries once they have been established and have grown several inches.

 

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