General: Aggressive growing, evergreen shrub with edible black berries and thorny stems.
Height: Grows up to 3m.
Flowers: Small flowers with 5 petals that are white to pink.
Leaves/Stems: Stems are 5-angled with hooked thorns. Leaves are 5-20cm long, described as double-saw-toothed edges, green and smooth on top and wooly on the underside.
Root: Root balls.
Trailing Blackberry (Rubus ursinus), a native plant found in BC.
Differences: Trailing blackberry is a deciduous shrub. It has smaller stems than Himalayan. The stem has a waxy coating making it look bluish in colour.
Where did it come from? Native to Armenia and introduced to North America in 1885. Found in BC in early 1970’s.
Where does it grow here? It typically grows in disturbed areas like railways, roads and abandoned house sites. It will grow on very poor infertile soil. It does require adequate soil moisture so it is found on properties along Anderson & Seton Lakes.
Reproduction: Spreads by seed, underground root and stem buds.
When does it grow, flower & seed? Sprouts in spring. Flowers June-August. Fruit forms August-September. Seeds in fall.
Spreads By: The seeds are spread by birds and other animals. People still plant this invasive variety because the fruit tastes good.
Plant Type: Biennial.
Tirmenstein, D. 1989. Rubus armeniacus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
Metro Vancouver & Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver. Best Management Practices for Himalayan Blackberry in the Metro Vancouver Region. March 2019.