Thornless Blackberry




Rubus fruticosus

A vigorous, semi-upright blackberry that is truly, completely thornless! Not quite as high yielding as native wild thorned blackberries, but more than made up for by the painless harvest experience.

We’re not sure of the variety for these, but they reliably produce huge, unbelievably flavorful berries each year.

Food uses

Throughout the month of August, this plant ripens large, half-dollar sized shiny black-purple berries on its second-year canes that are absolutely delicious and full of blackberry flavor. They start out very tart and sweeten when dead-ripe. Great for fresh eating or for jams, syrups, juices and all the classic berry recipes. Try adding a handful to a pan of balsamic vinegar and making a reduction. You won’t be sorry.

Wildlife uses

Blackberry flowers are enjoyed by all the usual pollinators, especially honeybees. Birds are said to enjoy the berries, although we haven’t noticed a reduction in our harvest due to birds snacking. A large colony of blackberries also provides shelter to all kinds of ground-dwelling wildlife

Landscape uses

Thornless blackberry grows numerous handsome, red-tinged, arching, 6-8+ foot long canes from the root. It doesn’t need to be trellised, but can be tied to a trellis or post to create a visually striking and easy-to-harvest column of canes, or allowed to run and create a cool, looping “fence” if you have more space. The red-purple color of the canes looks great even in the winter.

It doesn’t spread quickly by runners, but it does root wherever cane tips touch the ground. This is important: it means you can control its growth by keeping canes pruned to under 6′ long and making sure cane tips don’t root. You can let it go completely and it will thrive, but like any blackberry it can take up a lot of space very quickly. In a small garden context, keep it in check – or consider planting it in a large container on a patio where it can’t make an escape!

For maximum yield and aesthetics, prune out any dead canes and last year’s fruit canes (you’ll see the old blossom parts still on the cane tips) right at ground level while plants are dormant.

If you’re on the colder edge of Zone 5 or below, thornless blackberry’s winter hardiness is iffy.

Additional information


3-5 ft tall, width varies. Canes can grow up to 8+ feet long.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Sunlight needs

Full sun

Water & soil needs

Average soil and water requirements. Mulch well if your site is dry.


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