Northern Dewberry, American dewberry, whip dewberry
Description: prostrate, deciduous vine
Place of origin: eastern North America
Urban habitat: commonly found in sunny, dry sites with sandy or compacted soil, in urban meadows, along roadsides.
Ecological function: erosion control; food and habitat for wildlife.
History: Native to the eastern US, Rubus flagellaris has become naturalized elsewhere in the world. Its fruit is edible, consumed raw or cooked in pies and preserves and its died leaves steeped to make tea. Native American tribes consumed its fruit used its roots medicinally to treat hemorrhoids, sore throat, venereal disease, rheumatism, urination problems, and used it as a stimulant. Its fruit can be used to produce a purple-blue dye and its green roots produce a black dye.