Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus syn. Rubus discolor)

Cutleaf Blackberry (Rubus laciniatus)



Evergreen perennial shrubs from robust thickened canes with large prickles that grow up to 3 m tall and 12 m long.  White, five-petalled flowers are followed by red and eventually black cluster fruits.  Leaves of both species have five large leaflets. In Himalayan blackberry, leaflets are roughly toothed and green above, reflective silver below.  In cutleaf blackberry, leaflets are deeply incised.


Eurasian species that prefer rich soils.  On Galiano Island, they are found on forest edges, in old fields, and in rich riparian areas.


These aggressive shrubs form large, dense, impenetrable thickets that clog waterways, smother native species, and prevent wildlife movement.


Wear thick gloves and clothing to prevent injury from prickles.  Cut stems prior to flowering, then dig out enlarged rhizomes by hand, ensuring that the majority of root chunks are removed.  Several passes are usually required to remove remnant root chunks.  Removed plant material can be dried in the sun on an impermeable membrane, and then either burned or discarded in the forest in a shady area, provided it is located where it will not result in a fire hazard.

Regular mowing or grazing will also eventually deplete root reserves.

Our Experience

Introduced blackberries are both a nuisance and – for at least one month a year – a treat.  They can, however, quickly create large thickets on rich sites that would otherwise support productive native plant communities.  This is especially a concern in soils that have been enriched through agricultural land use.  Remove Himalayan and cutleaf blackberry wherever they occur in proximity to native streams and riparian areas.

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