Thursday, 5 June 2008

Bramble blossom (Rubus)

Rubus fruticosus
Rubus, meaning red is the Latin name of the plant.

With the unwise cutting down of hedges in recent years, wild blackberries are much less common than they used to be.

The Blackberry takes the tenth place in the ancient Ogham calendar and represents the letter M (Muin), its 28 day cycle being 2nd - 29th September. Blackberries are best gathered during their September calendar month as they start to spoil after that date. In folk-lore they are said to belong the 'devil' after St Michael's Day on September 29th. This is also the traditional date of Lucifer's fall from heaven.

This date also traditionally marked the end of the harvest. Blackberries make excellent jam and summer fruit deserts. Blackberry cordial is recommended for sore throats. The blossom pictured here, is loved by bees and at this time of year the brambles are covered in delicate pollen laden flowers.