Difficulty
  blackberries require low to moderate effort to manage.
∙ relatively early ripening
∙ disease resistant varieties
∙ moderately wet climate
Bloom
  susceptibility to frost damage is more complicated with blackberries than with most species. It appears that new shoots are occasionally damaged before bloom; however, secondary buds may emerge and produce a decent crop. The bloom, itself, seems to be quite late.
Pollination
  self-fertile
pH
  5.5 to 6.5 (preferred), 4.5 to 7.5 (acceptable)
The floricanes (summer-bearing 2nd year growth) of earlier ripening varieties will generally avoid activity from the spotted wing drosophila (SWD).  Primocane-bearing varieties can also produce on first year growth, but the berries ripen late in the season, exposing them to SWD.

Cane borers are also quite common.  The raspberry cane borer will puncture two rings roughly 0.5 inches apart near the top of the plant.  The eggs are layed within the area, and the damage causes the top to wilt.  The rednecked cane borer generally targets the lower portion of the primocane.  Larva damage causes galls to form on the cane.  The adult beetles feed on young leaves.

While there are cold hardy blackberry species, there are only a few selections that are capable of thriving in zone 5 or lower.  Some of them include 'Balsors Hardy', 'Fort Kent King', 'Nelson', and 'Sylvan', but very little is known about them.  A few others are listed below.




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Blackberry
Rubus spp

Apache

🔍
Ark 1007 x Navaho.  Developed in Arkansas.  PP11865 filed in 1999.
Zone
• 6
• 800-900 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• mid
• summer-bearing
• 2 to 3 weeks after Arapaho
• 5 week harvest
Growth
• thornless, erect
Yield
• 5 to 7 lb/plant
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust and double blossom.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Arapaho

🔍
Ark 631 x Ark 883.  Developed in Arkansas.  PP8510 filed in 1992.
Zone
• 6
• 400-500 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early
• summer-bearing
• 3 to 4 week harvest
Growth
• thornless, erect
Fruit
• firm
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust and double blossom.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Baby Cakes

🔍
APF-120T x APF-132T. Developed in Arkansas.  PP27032 filed in 2015.
Zone
• 4
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• everbearing
• 1 week after Arapaho
Growth
• dwarf (3-5ft), thornless, erect
Afflictions
• Resistant to disease (nonspecific).

Baby Cakes is a relatively hardy and thornless blackberry with erect canes and a dwarfing habit.

Black Satin

🔍
Originated in Illinois
Zone
• 5b?
Ripens
🍇

• summer-bearing
Growth
• thornless, semi-erect
Afflictions
• Resistant to anthracnose.

Caddo

🔍
Prime Ark 45 x Ark 2108T (Navaho x A-1507T).  Released in Arkansas (2018).
Zone
• 6b
• 300 chill hours?
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• summer-bearing
• 0 to 0.5 weeks after Arapaho
Growth
• thornless, erect
Fruit
• 8g/berry
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust and anthracnose.

Cherokee

🔍
Introduced in Arkansas around 1970 (non-patented).
Ripens
🍇
• early?
• summer-bearing
• harvest season lasts for up to 3.5 weeks.
Growth
• erect
Afflictions
• Resistant to anthracnose.
Susceptible to double blossom.

Chester

🔍
Zone
• 6a
• may experience minor dieback in zone 6a
Ripens
🍇
• late
• summer-bearing
Color
• lavender flowers
Growth
• thornless, semi-erect
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust, cane blight, and double blossom.
Susceptible to phytophthora root rot.

Chickasaw

🔍
Ark 842 x Ark 1246.  Developed in Arkansas.  PP11861 file in 1999.
Zone
• 6
• 500 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• summer-bearing
• 0.5 to 1 week after Arapaho
• 5 to 6 week harvest
Growth
• erect
Fruit
• 10.7g/berry, firm
Yield
• 7.0 to 7.5 lb/plant
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Columbia Giant

🔍
NZ 9629-1 x ORUS 1350-2.  Developed in Oregon.  PP28369 filed in 2015.
Zone
• 6b (6a)
Ripens
🍇

• summer-bearing
• 3 week harvest
Growth
• thornless, trailing canes
Fruit
• 14g/berry, firm
Yield
• 15.1 lb/plant

Columbia Star

🔍
NZ 9629-1 x ORUS 1350-2 (Black Butte x ORUS 828-43).  Developed in Oregon.  PP25532 filed in 2013.
Zone
• 6b (6a)
Ripens
🍇

• summer-bearing
• 3 week harvest
Growth
• thornless, trailing canes
Fruit
• 8g/berry, firm
Yield
• 15.4 lb/plant

Darrow

🔍
Originated in New York
Zone
• 5 (4b)
Ripens
🍇
• late?
• summer-bearing
Growth
• erect

Illini Hardy

🔍
Chester x NY 95.  Developed in Illinois.  PP8333 filed in 1991.
Zone
• 4b
Ripens
🍇
• late?
• summer-bearing
Growth
• erect
Fruit
• 4.5g/berry, large seeds
Yield
• low productivity
Afflictions
• Resistant to phytophthora root rot.
Susceptible to anthracnose?

Kiowa

🔍
Ark 791 x Ark 1058.  Originated in Arkansas.  PP9861 filed in 1995.
Zone
• 6b (7a)
• 200-300 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• summer-bearing
• 1 to 1.5 weeks after Arapaho
• 6 week harvest.
Growth
• erect
Fruit
• 10g/berry, firm
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Loch Ness

🔍
SCRI 74126RA8 x SCRI 75131D2.  Selected in Invergowrie, Scotland.  PP6782 filed in 1987.
Zone
• 6
Ripens
🍇
• late?
• summer-bearing
Growth
• thornless, semi-erect
Fruit
• 6g/berry
Yield
• 9.9 lb/plant

Marion

🔍
Chehalem x Olallie.  Introduced in Oregon (1956).  non-patented.
Alias
• Marionberry
Zone
• 8a
Ripens
🍇

• summer-bearing
Growth
• trailing canes
Fruit
• 3.75g/berry

Natchez

🔍
Ark 2005 x Ark 1857.  Originated in Arkansas.  PP20891 filed in 2008.
Zone
• 6a
• 300 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early
• summer-bearing
• with Arapaho
• 5 week harvest
Growth
• semi-erect to erect
Fruit
• 9.4g/berry
Yield
• 5 to 7 lb/plant
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust and double blossom.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Newberry

🔍
ORUS 834-5 x ORUS 1045-14.  Selected in Oregon (1994).
Zone
• 7a?
Ripens
🍇

• summer-bearing
Growth
• trailing canes
Fruit
• 6.9g/berry

Osage

🔍
A-1719 x A-2108.  Developed in Arkansas.  PP26120 filed in 2013.
Zone
• 6b (6a)
• 300-450 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• summer-bearing
• 0.5 to 1 week after Arapaho
• 5 to 6 week harvest
Growth
• thornless, erect
Fruit
• 6g/berry, firm
Yield
• 6.5 lb/plant
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Ouachita

🔍
Navaho x Ark 1506.  Originated in Arkansas.  PP17162 filed in 2003.
Zone
• 6b
• 400-500 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• summer-bearing
• 1 to 1.5 weeks after Arapaho
• 5 week harvest
Growth
• thornless, erect
Fruit
• 6g/berry, firm
Yield
• 5 to 7 lb/plant
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust and double blossom.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Prime Ark 45

🔍
APF-1 x Prime Jim.  Developed in Arkansas.  PP22449 filed in 2010.
Zone
• 6? (5b)
• 300 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• everbearing
• 0.5 to 1 week after Arapaho
Growth
• erect
Fruit
• 6 to 7g/berry, firm
Yield
• 6 to 9 lb/plant (floricane), 0.5 to 2.6 lb/plant (primocane)
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Prime Ark Freedom

🔍
A-2301T x APF-49T. Originated in Arkansas.  PP26990 filed in 2014.
Zone
• 6? (5b)
Ripens
🍇
• early
• everbearing
• 1 week earlier than Arapaho
• 4 week harvest
Growth
• thornless, erect
Fruit
• 7 to 11g/berry
Yield
• 3.1 lb/plant (floricane), 1.4 lb/plant (primocane)
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Prime Ark Traveler

🔍
A-2293T x APF-49T. Developed in Arkansas.  PP28598 filed in 2015.
Zone
• 6?
• 300 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• everbearing
• roughly 1 week after Prime Ark Freedom, with Arapaho
• 5 to 6 week harvest
Growth
• thornless, erect
Fruit
• 7.1g/berry
Yield
• 2.5 lb/plant (floricane), 1.5 lb/plant (primocane)
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust.  Somewhat resistant to anthracnose.

Prime Jim

🔍
Arapaho x Ark 830.  Originated in Arkansas.  PP16989 filed in 2004.
Zone
• 6
• 300-400 chill hours
Ripens
🍇
• early-mid
• everbearing
• a few days after Arapaho
• 4 week harvest
Growth
• erect
Fruit
• 4.9g/berry
Yield
• 5 to 7 lb/plant (floricane), 1 lb/plant (primocane)
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust?
Somewhat susceptible to anthracnose.  Floricanes are susceptible to double blossom disease, but primocanes avoid infection.

Rosborough

🔍
Developed in Texas, released in 1977.
Zone

• low chill
Ripens
🍇

• summer-bearing
Growth
• erect
Afflictions
• Somewhat susceptible to double blossom.

Rosborough can tolerate full sun in the extreme heat of an arid climate.  While there are a few other cultivars that are often recommended for arid climates (Brazos, Brison, and Womack), Rosborough appears to be the most adapted.  Its may also be the most productive of the four.

Siskiyou

🔍
ORUS 2027 (Olallie x ORUS 1367) x ORUS 1826 (ORUS 1122 x Boysen).  Selected in Oregon (1983), non-patented.
Zone
• 7?
• hardier than Marion
Ripens
🍇

• summer-bearing
Growth
• trailing canes
Fruit
• 7.8g/berry

Sweetie Pie

🔍
Navaho x MSUS29 ((Humble x Brazos) x Navaho).  Selected in Mississippi (1996).  unknown patent # (if it exists).
Zone
• 7? (6)
• low chill
Ripens
🍇
• mid?
• summer-bearing
• roughly 2 weeks after Arapaho?
Growth
• thornless, trailing canes
Afflictions
• Resistant to double blossom.  Probably Resistant to other diseases as well.

Sweetie Pie was bred for more southern conditions than Arkansas, but other low chill, disease resistant varieties bred in the east should do fine down there as well.

Triple Crown

🔍
Originated in Maryland (non-patented).
Zone
• 6b (6a)
• may experience minor to severe dieback in zone 6a
Ripens
🍇
• mid-late?
• summer-bearing
• roughly 1 week earlier than Chester
Growth
• thornless, semi-erect
Fruit
• 7.6g/berry
Afflictions
• Resistant to orange rust, double blossom, and phytophthora root rot.

Willamette Thornless Marion

🔍
Bud mutation of Marion.  Discovered in Oregon.  PP28309 filed in 2012.
Zone
• 8a
Ripens
🍇

• summer-bearing
• 6 week harvest
Growth
• thornless
Fruit
• 3.75g/berry

Willamette Thornless Marion is nearly identical to Marion with the primary difference being that it is thornless.