Blackberry Jam Fruit
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Blackberry Jam Fruit
E Introduced Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Blackberry Jam Fruit, Raspberry Bush
Botanical name: Rosenbergiodendron formosum    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Randia formosa, Mussaenda formosa, Gardenia mussaenda

Blackberry Jam Fruit is a small, evergreen bush-shrub, usually growing only up to a height of 4-5 feet tall if planted in the ground or 3-4 feet if planted in a container. This plant, closely related to the Gardenia, produces white flowers that are 3.5-5 cm across. The flowers are star shaped, tubular, very fragrant and tend to attract nocturnal moths. Leaves are clustered at ends of small lateral branches; stipules short, broadly triangular, often scoop-shaped, pointed, 1.5-3 mm long, brown, persisting below leaf clusters; leaf-stalks obscure or up to 1 cm long. Leaves are blades inverted-lanceshaped to elliptic, tapering, narrowed and decurrent at base, mostly 3-11 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide, sparsely velvet-hairy and dark green above, duller and more densely velvet-hairy below. The olive-shaped yellow fruits are wood shelled, about 2.5 cm in diameter, and look like small loquats. They can be easily crushed when chewed. The fruit contains two cells with small flat seeds surrounded by sweet, black, soft pulp that tastes like blackberry jam. Blackberry Jam Fruit is native to Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador, cultivated elsewhere.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed in cultivation in Maharashtra.

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