Coastal Invasive Species Committee

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Himalayan Blackberry

Rubus armeniacus (discolor)blackberry

CONTROL

Family: Rosaceae (Rose).

Other Scientific Names: Rubus procerus, R. fruticosa, R. armeniacus.

Other Common Names: None.

Origin: Asia.

Growth Form / Reproduction: Medium to tall evergreen shrub. Seeds and vegetatively from rooting stem tips and sprouts from root buds.

Legal Status: Community Charters Act.

Impacts:
Agricultural: Can establish on pastures and reduce access to grazing animals.
Ecological: Can complete with low-growing native vegetation and regenerating conifers through shading and deposits of plant litter. On stream banks and channels, large thickets replace more deeply-rooted vegetation, which may increase the risk of flooding and erosion.
Human: Dense impenetrable thickets can hinder access for recreational activities. Thickets reduce sight lines along right-of-ways. Berries are used as a food source.

Habitat: Tolerates a wide range of soil moisture conditions. Well adapted to rich, well-drained soils but can grow on infertile soils of varying textures. Does best in full sun but tolerates a range of light conditions. Forms dense thickets on disturbed sites along roadsides, fence lines, pastures, forest plantations, streambanks, riparian areas, and utility corridors.

Status and Distribution: Widespread throughout the CIPC area except in Alberni-Clayoquot where it is common. Most common in CDFmm and CWHxm but also present in CWHvm, CWHvh, CWHdm and MHmm.

Management Strategy: Control is very difficult especially on mature plants and established populations. Immediate eradication of new and small infestations should be a high priority. Hand-pulling and cutting are effective on young plants but brush cutters, weed-eaters and power saws are required for mature plants, and follow up treatments are often required. All plant material must be disposed of by burning or being deeply buried at a landfill. Several herbicides have been used with varying effectiveness including picloram, dicamba, triclopyr ester and amine, and 2,4-D. Spot application on foliage or stem injection/cut surface application is recommended to minimize non-target species injury. No biological control is available because of risk to closely related crop species.