Dewberry Leaf Tea

by Woody Reed
(Magnolia, Texas)

In my neck of the woods (South Texas) we have dewberries growing wild. Can the dewberry leaves be substituted for the blackberry leaves? Is there much difference? Thanks!


Woody-Magnolia, Texas

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Apr 06, 2015
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Love me some dewberries
by: Kenny

I know this is a little late, but as I sit here drinking some dewberry tea, I found this page. To answer some of your questions, I do not know of anyone who has planted dewberries, other than relocating plants on their property. It grows all over the place around Dallas. We have made jellies, jams, and cobblers from them. As a matter of fact, my mouth started watering earlier today when I saw some of the white blooms. That means it's almost cobbler time! I've never made blackberry tea, but I often gather dewberry leaves when I am out foraging. I typically like to take 5 or 6 large leaves and rip them up and let them steep in hot water for 15 minutes or so. I taste a little hint of green and a little hint of sweet. When you drink it like this, you will be left with the feeling in your mouth like you would when you eat or drink anything a little astringent. I like it. I hope this helps.

May 23, 2014
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Enjoying Dewberries
by: Anonymous

When I moved to East Texas a few years ago, my small farm was covered with dewberry vines (they grew in the flowerbeds, vegetable garden, everywhere). My grandmother used to send all of us grandkids to pick dewberries when I was younger, so I am familiar with this delicious berry. I use the berries to make jams, jellies (my daughter will eat no other jelly), tea (with the leaves), ice cream, and I put them in the freezer to add to homemade breads, cakes, and oatmeal (nothing better on a cold morning than hot oatmeal with dewberries on top). We also feed the leaves to our chickens when they have diarrhea. It stops the problem long enough for me address any health issues. A rabbit farmer actually told me about feeding the leaves to stop diarrhea. He said that 90% of the time the leaves worked and saved the life of the rabbits he raised. I have learned that to clear out the vines from the flowerbeds I have to pull out the whole root (sometimes this requires digging it out with a shovel). I also have learned that the berries grow best on new canes, so every February I mow the slightly wooded area behind our house to encourage lots of berries. This year is our best berry year yet. I look forward to once again selling out of dewberry jelly at our farmer's market. I have 12 acres covered in vines, so I decided that if I couldn't beat them, I would enjoy them!

Oct 08, 2013
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Dewberry Information
by: Grandma

Hi Woody,

Thank you so much for all the wonderful information on the Dewberries, they sound like they are yummy but a bit of a pain in the butt to harvest. :) We have red raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and even gooseberries growing in our yard but you really stumped me on the dewberries. After getting your information I asked Grandpa about the dewberries and he said they do grow wild in our area too, he reads all the catalogs for vegetables and fruits so he did hear of them. I'm going to try to research them more and see about the medicinal benefits of dewberry plants. I hope to go in search of them this spring, I'd love to find a few plants to add to my garden.

Thank you so much for bringing dewberries to my attention and providing all the great information. This is what I absolutely love about my website I not only share my wisdom but also enjoy the wisdom of visitors to my website. Let me know if you do decide to try the tea from the leaves, just make sure you find plants in an area that aren't sprayed with insecticides. Good luck with that these days!

Grandma

Oct 08, 2013
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Dewberries
by: Anonymous

Thanks for responding so quickly! I did a google search and found this info, I guess I answered my own question. I have picked and eaten them since I was a little boy in jams and jellies:

The dewberries are a group of species in the genus Rubus, section Rubus, closely related to the blackberries. They are small trailing (rather than upright or high-arching) brambles with berries reminiscent of the raspberry, but are usually purple to black instead of red. Unlike many other Rubus species, dewberries have separate male and female plants (they are dioecious) (Burbank, methods and applications 3, AD 1914).[citation needed]

Dewberries are common throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere, sometimes thought of as a nuisance weed, but the leaves can be used for a tea, and the berries are sweet and edible. They can be eaten raw, or used to make cobbler, jam, or pie.

Around March and April, the plants start to grow white flowers that develop into small green berries. The tiny green berries grow red and then a deep purple-blue as they ripen. When the berries are ripe, they are tender and difficult to pick in any quantity without squashing them. The plants do not have upright canes like some other Rubus species, but have stems that trail along the ground, putting forth new roots along the length of the stem. The stems are covered with fine spines or stickers. The berries are sweet and, for many, less seedy than blackberries and worth the scratches and stains that come from picking them.

In the winter the leaves often remain on the stems, but may turn dark red. The leaves are sometimes eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including peach blossom moths.

The European dewberry, Rubus caesius, grows more upright like other brambles, but is frequently restricted to coastal communities, especially sand dune systems. Its fruits are a deep, almost black, purple and are coated with a thin layer or 'dew' of waxy droplets. Thus, they appear sky-blue (caesius is Latin for pale blue). It is less sought after, because its fruits are small and retain a markedly tart taste even when fully ripe.



Oct 07, 2013
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Dewberry Leaf Tea Safety
by: Grandma

Hello Woody,

I'll be honest with you Woody, I've never heard of Dewberries. I tried to look around to see if I could find any information about them but just couldn't find anything on making a tea from the leaves. Do you ever pick the wild dewberries and eat them? Do people actually grow them and sell them at a farmers market or in the grocery store? Have you ever see jams or jelly's made with dewberries? I really wouldn't feel comfortable advising you to try the tea from the leaves without knowing anything about the berries.

Grandma

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