Dewberry is a trailing woody vine with curved prickles, rooting at the cane tips. Young stems are green; older stems are brownish and woody. Flowers in small groups or sometimes single, on long stems, white with whitish centers, the stems often subtended by a small leaf. Typical rose-family flowers with 5 sepals and 5 petals with many stamens. Blooms April–June. Leaves alternate, compound, mostly 3-divided, broadly oval with coarse teeth. The 2 lateral leaflets sometimes have a pointed lobe each. Fruit edible, resembling a blackberry.
Common blackberry (R. allegheniensis) is similar but is more bushy, with taller, more erect stems.