Photo Credit: John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Photo Credit: Eric Coombs, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org
Species include: Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus), Himalayan blackberry (Rubus praecox), and cutleaf evergreen blackberry (Rubus laciniatus)
Blackberry cobbler, blackberry pie, blackberry jam, blackberry smoothies, blackberry brandy, just plain blackberries! Who doesn’t love them? While the Pacific blackberry (Rubus ursinus) is native to our region, many invasive blackberry species have become widespread and are some of the most disruptive of noxious weeds in Oregon.
|Life Cycle:||Perennial (life cycle lasts more than one year)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||No|
|Height:||Up to 15 feet (4.5 meters)|
|Leaf Description:||Leaves are alternately arranged on the stem. Each leaf is compoundCompound A leaf consisting of several distinct leaflets joined to a single stem. and made up of 3 to 5 leaflets with serratedSerrated Having a jagged edge. edges. Each leaflet is dark green with a white underside.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Each flower is white to pink and has five petals. Small, edible berries ripen into dark purple to black berries in the summer months.|
|Bloom Time:||April to August|
- Invasive blackberry species can be found in a wide range of habitats from roadsides and vacant lots to pastures, stream corridors, and along the edges of mixed and deciduousDeciduous Trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally. forest.
- It thrives in many soil types but grows particularly well in wet soils.
- Blackberry can tolerate some shade, but it is more common in sunny, open areas rather than in forested understoryUnderstory The layer of plants that exists closer to the ground under large trees..
- Invasive blackberry species grow in dense thickets, typically crowding out native vegetation wherever it gets established.
- Blackberry has shallow root systems that do not hold the soil well during flood events. This results in increased erosion which reduces water quality.
- While dense thickets can be useful to some wildlife species, many larger animals cannot pass through large thickets of blackberry.
- Blackberry is also highly flammable and provides significant fuels for wildfire.
What you can do about it:
- Prevention is the best control for invasive blackberry species. Don’t let it get established!
- If you are planning on clearing a landscape that doesn’t have blackberry, don’t delay in planting or seeding to reduce the chances that invasive blackberry will become established.
- To remove a few plants or small infestations, cut back the patch as much as possible before digging out the root ball. Once removed, continue to monitor the area for re-growth.
- Make sure to wear thick, leather gloves and protective clothing when treating blackberry to avoid, or at least minimize injury from its thorns.
Pacific blackberry (Rubus ursinus), also known as trailing blackberry, is the only blackberry native to Oregon. Its small, sweet berries have fewer seeds and ripen earlier than invasive blackberry species. It’s leaves also grow in groups of three.
Thimbleberry (Rubus nutkanus)is another great native berry that provides delicious fruit. Unlike Himalayan blackberry, thimbleberry’s fruits are bright red and generally do not pack or ship well, so you won’t find them in stores. This makes them an ideal plant to grow at home!
Noxious Weed Listing:
|State of Oregon:||Class B|
|State of Washington:||Class C|
Download the Blackberry Best Management Practices Factsheet
- Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook: Blackberry vines
- University of California, Weed Research & Information Center: Himalaya blackberry
- Oregon State University Extension: Forestry blackberry management