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Rubus armeniacus

Rubus armeniacus

It's blackberry season in the Pacific Northwest. This invasive species, Rubus armeniacus (commonly known as Himalayan blackberry) has long been incorrectly known scientifically as Rubus procerus or Rubus discolor in North America (and in fact, I'm not sure if the common name now reflects the true origin of the plant - Armenian blackberry would be better). For the story, see “Rubus armeniacus - a correct name for Himalayan blackberries” via Botanical Electronic News, Number 230.

17 Comments

Oooo, blackberries. I once owned a house here in Del Mar and grew blackberries along one side as the thorns were an added reason for folks not to climb the fence. Little did I know that one of my great pleasures would be to eat the blackberries directly from the vines when they were at their peak ripeness. Most of them never even got to the kitchen!

And what could be better than blackberry pie? (Assuming that at least some of the berries make it to the kitchen.) My favorite is 2/3 apple, 1/3 blackberry. Last year, we picked enough berries within three blocks of our house to last through the winter, and we had our last blackberry-apple pie in March!

This is a species you can love and hate at the same time. Yes, the berries are delicious, but this plant is an "alien invader" and a serious, SERIOUS pest, make no mistake about that. It is very difficult to eradicate- so it has become a prominent member of our open space and woodland fringe flora (home to countless other alien species as well!) here in the Portland,OR area.

These blackberries can be irradacated by cutting off the new growth before the second set of leaves has a chance to grow. You keep doing this and eventually the root will starve. I worked and studied on a Northern Cal. college farm and had a lot of experience with these. You cannot just mow them down, all of the tiny pieces will grow, it is very difficult to get rid of. But they sure make a great break time snack, when they are on the fence lines.

Has anyone tried or heard of anyone successfully using goats to eradicate Rubus armeniacus? I worked on an eradication for Oregon BLM and even though blackberries are my favorite fruit this plant is a severe threat to native flora and entire systems. I am surprised that Himalayan blackberry is listed as Rubus discolor and Rubus procerus in Pojar and Mackinnon. Rubus ursinus, Trailing Blackberry or Dewberry is a native NW blackberry. Does anyone know any others? This website is awesome. Great photos, keep up the good work. Also I was wondering if anyone knew any good resources (on the www preferably) that give pointers on close up floral photography. Cheers

Thanks all for the comments.

Chris - here are a few resources that I've learned from: Nature Photographers Online (go through the article archives in particular) and The Luminous Landscape.

Chris-regarding the use of goats to browse the plants: I have heard of programs like that. Have you done this yourself as part of your BLM work? I believe they were doing something similar in southern Oregon when I lived down there. Unfortunately, I live inside city of Battle Ground, WA city limits and I'm pretty sure goats aren't allowed.

-Matt

Here in Humboldt County, I have heard natives mention that only Goats and Fire can gid rid of these. They are everywhere, and indeed, make
rather successful security fences.

I presume this is just someone at BEN doing some careless typing - but the BEN link clearly shows the synonym "Rubus discolor." as having a fullstop in the name, and as they at least ought to be careful about proofreading, I thought I'd check. I've never heard of a plant name with punctuation in it before. Is it just bad typing, or is "Rubus discolor." correct?

Hey Michael, I think this is just a punctuation error. The period is only present in the first naming. I believe it is the period of the sentence, placed inside the final quotation marks of the name in error. It would be correct to place the punctuation before the quote marks if this were an actual quote.

I would like to download these pictures
Rubus armeniacus
with your kind permission - of course giving the origin - in my non profit solution, in my work, the Birdfriedlexicon which will come out in Hungarian. I think it will not cause any damage for you, but it will have the advantage that the Hungarian readers can see into your activity of high standard and I think many will visit your website.
Hoping in your positive answer I wish everything good
Best regards,
Tibor Lengyel
CSÖMÖR
Tinódi u. 5.
2141
Hungary

Tibor - the links at the bottom of this page (Creative Commons License and About Botany Photo of the Day) share the terms of use for this image, plus attribution requirements.

Invasion biology is a pseudoscience. Pest is as pest does. If they're taking up space not used for any better purpose, e.g., the margins of roads, what better function can be imagined than to produce delicious blackberries! If you need the land back for other purposes, even the might Himalayan will retreat before the blades of a bulldozer. Cobbler anyone?

I remember the year I got stuborn and made quarts of blackberry preserves. I have the scars to prove it.

in shiraz we have a lot of this

(comment deleted by Daniel -- mild advertisement)

This species needs to be killed on sight. Use your shoe or whatever's handy, before it grows into a monster. Anybody wanting to use it for a fence or for the berries must not live in the Seattle area, where it will take over an unmaintained yard in about a year. When it's big enough, chopping it back is something like fighting a bobcat. The thorns stab you, they stick to your clothes, and they tear holes in you and/or your clothes when you pull away. And if you're hungry, you can easily find the berries in any neighborhood in August, without letting the vines and thorns loose at home.

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