What is the Difference Between a Dewberry and Blackberry?

raspberries and blackberriesGrowing up my kids loved to pick wild dewberries.  Some called them wild blackberries.  A vacant field near our house has plenty of these low spikey vines.  The ones my husband hates and pulls them up wherever they get in his way.   Very prickly plants.

I also remember as a kid picking wild dewberries.  They seem to ripen before the wild blackberries here.  Some people say they went blackberry pickin’ and others went dewberry pickin’.  I decided to find out the difference between the 2 berries or are they the same thing.

dewberry spikes

“hairy” dewberry stems

Dewberries ripen before the wild blackberries here.  Biggest issue is picking the berries without getting scratched up.  Dewberries grow on vines which run along the ground, a kind of ground cover.  The biggest difference is the spiky stems.  Look kind of hairy don’t they?

Now blackberries have bigger and fewer thorns.  Blackberries grow more upright than dewberries.  Either way is yummy.  My favorites though are the University of Arkansas’s thornless blackberries.  Tasty, no thorns, larger berries.

Our area is blessed with several pick your own berry farms.  My favorite place for blackberries is Enoch’s Berry Farm in Fouke.  We’ve picked there for several years, and they really are tasty sun warmed and freshly picked off the vine.  Enoch’s also sells blackberry plants to grow your own.  You have to order in advance as they sell out quite quickly.

wild blackberry

Thorny wild blackberry

local harvest blackberries


More on Dewberries and Blackberries

Enoch’s Berry Farm Pick your own blackberries, buy blackberry plants, how to grow blackberries

Local Harvest  Search for blackberries or other locally harvested goodies in your area

Arkansas Blackberries

Have Dewberry, Will Travel

A Blackberry Guide: Dewberries Ripen Earlier

Dewberry Recipes

Southern Dewberry listing in native plant database

Dewberry  Merriwether’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest


What is the Difference Between a Dewberry and Blackberry? — 11 Comments

  1. Thanks for a very nice article. My friend didn’t know about dewberries even though she was raised in Tennessee. I must admit that I didn’t know or remember just how thorny dewberries are. Regards, Howard

  2. Many people call dewberries wild blackberries, I had to look up the info a couple years back to make sure I knew the difference. I remember picking dewberries in Louisiana but when I was little.

  3. HI — Just was eating blackberries, and searched the difference between those and dewberries. When I was in 4th – 10th grade, I used to run around in fields in SW PA covered with dewberry vines. I hated those, not so much because the thorns cut my legs all the time, but sometimes, the vines would trip me. My legs were always raw from scratches from the vines — I only wore shorts. Maybe that’s why I have no allergies. Never got poison ivy, even though I romped through that too. Anyway, I used to eat unwashed dewberries and everything else I could get from the fields and only come home for dinner. I still have a taste for berries. Yum. 66 now.

  4. Thanks for sharing. Yes, I’ve been tripped by those vines too. I’d rather eat the wild dewberries than wild blackberries any day, although I really love the plump thornless ones we grow.

  5. I find a difference in the flavor of dewberries vs blackberries as well. Dewberries have a somewhat stronger, maybe musky quality that I prefer, especially when they are cooked. Almost make blackberries taste bland by comparison. Here in South Louisiana dewberries are ripening now (late march-early april), and I’ve already picked several gallons from one of my favorite secret patches. And dewberry cobbler is my favorite treat on the planet. Here’s my go-to recipe: http://www.southernplate.com/2009/09/easy-peasy-old-fashioned-breezy-berry-cobbler.html

  6. I have picked blackberries and dewberries in Indianapolis, In . We liveed in an area that was almost a dead in street in the city. We had a wooded area not yet developed with berries, apples everything a kid could imagine. I always remember when Blackberries ripen. My Mother was 9 months pregnant with her tenth child. The blackberries and dewberries were huge that year. We had picked about 2 cold packers full of berries when my Mother said I think we should get back to the house., only about 3 or 4 blocks away. So every year my brother ‘s birthday tells me blackberries are ripe. I have a son born exactly 5 years later on the same day. We shoulders have a special name for them Barry and Dewberry.

  7. I love blackberry cobbler. I don’t pick them anymore but buy them at the store fresh and add frozen ones to make mine now. Make my own crust too.

  8. My father is almost 90 years old and he schooled me on dewberries. We live in Baltimore City,Maryland and dewberries been growing down by the railroad tracks for many of years. He even mentioned about the thorns too.

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