Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus)

Himalayan blackberry

Rubus armeniacus

Description

  • Stiff, 5-edged stems can grow 3m tall and 12m long.
  • Produce green, large, toothed leaves.
  • Leaves are arranged in groups of five on young plants, and groups of three on older plants.
  • Berries are black, shiny, and hairless.
  • Flowers are small and white or pinkish with five petals and are arranged in clusters.

Introduction and spread

  • This plant has been spread in part by deliberate planting by humans for berry harvest
  • Root and stem fragment start a new plant
  • Feces of animals that eat black berries spreads seeds

Consequences of invasion

  • Competes with native shrubs by shading out the sun
  • Create dense thorny thickets that impede the movement of wildlife
  • Dense thickets can also negatively impact human recreational opportunities like bike trails.
  • Reduces visibility along road ways and takes over stream channels and banks and roadside ditches

Status in the CKISS region

  • Himalayan blackberry is classified as Contain on the CKISS Annual Priority List.
  • While it is considered Established in the Nelson and Creston Invasive Plant Management Areas, it is less prevalent in other parts of the region.
  • It is classified as Contain for those parts of the region where it is not widely established.
  • In those areas, CKISS is taking action to contain the spread of this plant and prevent it from spreading to new areas.
  • To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.

Integrated pest management options

Prevention

  • Be PlantWise! Choose plants that are not invasive by Growing Me Instead!
  • Watch for plant parts clinging to your clothing
  • Avoid having bare soil or disturbed ground on your property

Mechanical treatment

  • Himalayan blackberry can be removed by hand pulling small, young plants, and digging older plants.
  • Digging must be very thorough as root fragments left in the soil will re-sprout.
  • Cutting thickets back may be required first to access the soil where roots are established.
  • Cutting alone is not as effective as digging, but could be effective if repeated over many years.
  • Note that birds may nest in blackberry thickets, if this is occurring on your property take care to conduct removal activities outside of their nesting period.

Additional resources