The purpose of this study was to determine the duration from planting to reproductive phase, of wild blackberry (Rubus spp.) collected from the wild.It was carried out at the Horticulture Research and Teaching Farm, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya. The experimental layout wasa randomized complete block design (RCBD) replicated three times; treatment was four wild blackberry species and one cultivated cultivar. The days to first flowering were significantly shorter in cultivated species Rubus fruiticosus at 126 days after planting while wild species Rubus pinnatus, Rubus steundneri Rubus volkensis and Rubus apetalu stook much longer time (341, 333, 332 and 227 days, respectively). Compared to other wild species R. apetalus took a significantly shorter time to flowering than all the other wild species. Analysis also showed that cultivated species, R. fruiticusos had significantly the longest harvesting duration compared to all wild species planted in the present study. It is concluded that wild blackberry species under conventional production practices have varying days to reproductive phase. However, more studies are necessary with a view to reducing the days to reproductive phase for the wild species to compare favourably with the cultivated types.
Key words: Wild blackberry, reproductive phase, conventional production.