WSU Whatcom County Extension

Integrated Pest Management for Blueberries

Himalayan Blackberry

(Rubus discolor)

Perennial Broadleaves

 

Himalayan Blackberry

 

Habitat Characteristics

Himalayan blackberry is often found in disturbed moist areas, roadsides, fencerows.  It can survive in all areas except in deep shade under conifers.

 

Identification

Himalayan blackberry is an erect, spreading, or trailing evergreen shrub that can get very large and grows in dense, impenetrable thickets. Young stems are erect, but arch as they lengthen, eventually touching the ground and rooting at the nodes. Leaves are compound (usually 5 leaflets), with oval leaflets, 1½ to 3 inches long.  They are dark green on the top side with a heavy white bloom on the underside. Stems are purplish-red and armed with heavy, curved prickles.  Flowers are large (about 1 inch in diameter), white to pinkish, and borne in clusters of 5 to 20.  The fruit is black with an aggregate of drupelets about 1 inch long which adheres to the receptacle when removed from plant.

Himalayan Blackberry

 

Life History

Several reproduction methods are used: seeds, root sprouts, rhizomes, and stems that arch to the ground and root at the tips. Seeds germinate in the spring.  Biennial canes emerge in winter and develop tip roots in autumn. Flowering shoots appear on the canes in the summer. After fruiting canes dies back and are replaced with new ones the next year.  Vegetative growth is seen in the spring.

 

Thresholds and Management

Cultural Techniques

     - Mow down the top part of the plant and dig or till roots.  This is best done when the soil is wet.

Chemical Techniques

     - See Herbicide Efficacy Table (pdf)

     - Some herbicides are best used in September to October, when the plant is growing and after the fruit has been formed.

 

Web References

University of California IPM, Weed Gallery, Wild Blackberries
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/WEEDS/wild_blackberry.html

Invasive Species, The Source for Information and Images of Invasive & Exotic Species, Himalayan Blackberry
http://www.invasive.org/browse/subject.cfm?sub=6338

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WSU Whatcom County Extension • 1000 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225 • (360) 778-5800 • whatcom@wsu.edu