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Adventitious: an adventurous sounding word used in botany and science to describe something added from the outside not from the main structure.

In botany, adventitious refers to structures that develop in an unusual place. A good example is the blackberry plant often referred to as blackberry bramble. When a branch grows long enough and touches the ground, that particular branch can grow roots in the ground. In this additional way the blackberry can propagate itself without total reliance on its perennial root structure.To some of you that is not necessarily a good thing for many homeowners near wooded areas can have blackberry brambles take over. Forsythia does the same thing. This type of extra root system also gives these plants an extra edge over plants that rely on one root system. Oak trees, rice, ferns and horsetail are other examples.

Adventitious roots help these plants gather extra oxygen which can be useful if plants are in poor soil or in flooded areas. The photo to the right is horsetail in a wooded area.


Picking blackberries can be tedious to gather due to its prickers. Certain species of caterpillars feed on the leaves. Wildlife such as deer and fox, various birds love the fruit.

Blackberries are high in tannins and both the roots and leaves have historically been used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. The fruit is high in antioxidants and research continues to prove its efficacy on:

  • cardiovascular health
  • the specific anthocyanidins, may help improve memory
  • may help decrease body temperature
  • contain fiber and Vitamin C
  • pectin, a soluble fiber seems to help with cholesterol levels
  • research is being done on ellagic acid that has ability to deter specific cancer cells from proliferating

Blackberries are a great addition to a smoothie. While it is not the fruit bearing time for blackberries frozen fruit is available. I like to thaw frozen berries this time of year and put on pancakes or in a salad. Blackberry conserve, one that uses little or no sugar can be added to crepes, muffins as well. If you have frozen or dried blackberries add them to your tea. They add a pleasant flavor to tea blends.

Its raining today, a bit raw and chilly. It’s time to make a pot of tea. If you have a favorite tea using blackberries I would appreciate hearing from you.

Enjoy your day. Judith

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