Help me ID unknown blackberry

I have two blackberry plants that I’ve been growing for the past 6 years or so. Both were called “Chester” but they seem to be quite different so I think at least one is mislabeled.

This one below has white flowers and very sturdy trailing canes. I’m in zone 3 so have to bend these canes to the ground and cover them with mulch to get through the winter, and the canes on this plant are so sturdy that it’s easy to break them when bending them to the ground. I think this plant is the real Chester. It’s not terribly productive and I’m thinking of removing it.

This other plant is vastly more productive, has thinner, more pliable canes that are easier to bend to the ground so they can be mulched over winter, tends to have somewhat smaller berries, and the flowers are definitely pink. This plant has also produced several suckers over the year, whereas the white-flowered plant above has never produced a single sucker. Any idea what the pink-flowered plant is? It must be something hardy, since I can grow it in zone 3, but it does have quite a bit of winter kill even when covered.
photo Aug2515Chesterpink.jpg

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Most blackberries have white flowers, and it’s hard to ID with flowers. Chester does have pink flowers though.

I would say the pink-flowered blackberry is Chester. It is VERY prolific and suckers pretty significantly. And, it has pink flowers. Berries ripen in July. Are they both thornless? Chester is thornless. And it is a pretty good blackberry, taste-wise.

Interesting. Yes, they are both thornless. I wouldn’t say the pink one sucker aggressively… it has only produced 2 or 3 suckers and I planted it in 2010. The white-flowered one was planted in 2009 and has never suckered. Could be the climate. Berries taste identical and are delicious but you have to wait until they get a bit soft for them to really sweeten up.

Besides Chester, are there any other named varieties available in the US that are also pink flowered all the way through the process? This post is the closest evidence I’ve had for identifying the prolific pink-petaled blackberry bush that my mom bought from somewhere like Home Depot about ten years years ago. Honestly I would say it is purple more than just pink but I haven’t found anything that even mentions purple so I’m thinking pink is the term to use.

I am assuming that since she bought it from a box store, it was a named variety. In my mind I thought it was one named after a group of people but I’ve made a spreadsheet of every cultivar I can find and then tried to find the petal color and I don’t think any of them have pink petals the entire time. It fruits on floricanes only. It suckers only a little at my house (I took some seedlings from her house about 7 years ago) and is right in the middle of berry making in Central Ohio at the moment. It is semi-erect I think. I do use a trellis but my mother only vaguely trellises them and they seem fine with that too. Very strong canes.

Honestly, until I recently bought a Black Satin, I didn’t realize the blackberry flowers weren’t normally purple.

I cut it off about 6 feet up so that it makes nice laterals. The chlorosis on the right most bush is because of a water leak that waaaaaay overwatered while I was away for a weekend. That is not what it normally looks like.

Does anyone have ideas on what else my blackberry is- or is it a Chester? Thank you!

My bet is that it is a Chester. I have bought Chester from two different stores over the years, one was pink flowered like yours and the other (which I still have) is white flowered only. I wondered if they were two different varieties but apart from the flower color they were identical in all other ways. I decided (without proof :)) that Chester has two forms, white-flowered and pink-flowered. Also, that your mom got it from a big box store means there are only a few varieties they are likely to carry, and Chester is a pretty common variety sold at places like Home Depot (in fact, Home Depot was where I bought my pink-flowered Chester).

Some of my earliest Ouachita blossoms are pink… initially… but they later on turn white.