Daily Sketches – June 30 Flowers – 2. Rubus fruticosus

The blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) is now in bloom in the garden and its flowers are in a beauty contest with the Philadelphus flowers next to it.

The name of the species does not, as some might imagine, mean fruit-bearing; in that case the name should be fructuosus. Fruticosus in latin refers to the bushy, shrubby nature of the plant.

The blackberry flowers have 5 petals, white or pink, of delicate satin-like texture and wrinkled surface. Sometimes you can see several petals in addition to the five, usually smaller. Sepals are 5, joined at the base. In the center of the flower there are many stamens of various sizes, with yellow-dark anthers forming a pleasant contrast with the light petals. The ovary is superior, with many separate carpels, each with 1 ovule and a slender style.

Pollination is made by insects, butterflies are often seen feeding on Rubus flowers.

Flower seen from the side – Polygonia butterfly feeding on Rubus flowers – Fruits in different stages of ripening

After the flower is pollinated, the petals drop, the receptacle becomes elevated and the carpels start to swell out in the process of transforming into 1-seeded juicy drupelets composing the fruit. Although they are commonly known or referred to as berries, the botanical definition classify the blackberries (along with strawberries an raspberries), as aggregate fruits, not berries. When ripening, the berries are first green, then bright red and finally black (a deep purple). All these stages of progression may be met on the same twig, the contrast of colors being very appreciated by the botanical artists.

In this video I will show you how to determine in a simple way the correct proportions of this type of flower and how to draw wrinkled petals.

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