A distinguishing characteristic of this class is that it does not sprout from the roots, but is propagated from the tips
of the young canes. As found native in nearly all parts of the Union it is exceedingly variable in habit and fruit. Nearly all cultivated varieties are selections from the local types, as distributed by the birds in corners and waste places. The fruit is not always black. In many localities varieties are found with yellow fruit, and such red or scarlet varieties as Ellisdale and Shaffer, that only root from the tips of growth, are usually classed by growers with the black caps, but botanically they are classed with the purple-cane species (Rubus neglectus).
The canes of the varieties that root from the tip are strong and stocky at the base, but slender at the tops, which droop over to the earth in late summer. If the ground is mellow, and the canes are not swayed by the wind, they will root without aid. But where plants are desired it is far more certain to peg down the points when they enlarge and change color and cover with some earth pressed down quite firmly. If covered without pegging the winds often sway and draw them from the covering. It is customary to leave the rooted tips undisturbed until wanted for spring planting. If taken up the fibrous mass of roots, shown in Fig. 77, are not easy to care for unless at once planted where they are to stand for fruiting. Fall planting succeeds well even in the prairie States, if a mound of earth is thrown over the plants to be removed in early spring. In planting these rooted tips it must be kept in mind that growth does not start from the attached stem but from the crown. The section of stem is upside down and its mission is accomplished when it develops roots at the point. Plant with the crown not more than half an inch below the surface of the earth.
Fig. 77. - Divided cane of black raspberry taking root in the soil. (After Fuller.)