Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry
- Cutleaf Blackberry
- Evergreen Blackberry
General: Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry is an evergreen shrub belonging to the rose family.
Flowers: Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry flowers form in clusters of 5 to 20. Each flower has 5 petals and 5 sepals and is three-lobed. Flower colour ranges from white to dark pink.
Stems: Upright to arched, canes are angled, branched and have curved prickles. Canes are biennial and can root along the stems and the tips.
Leaves: Medium to dark green, hairy underside and are made up of 5 leaflets that are deeply divided and look lobed with toothy margins. The leaves have hairy undersides.
Fruit: Mature, shiny blackberries that ripen in mid-late summer.
Roots: Large, deep, woody root ball that can exceed 10 m in length and 1 m in depth.
Trailing Blackberry (Rubus ursinus) is the only native Blackberry to British Columbia. It is a low, trailing plant with leaves divided into 3 distinct leaflets that are 15 cm long, dark green on both sides and toothed. Flowers are white or pink and are 2.5 cm wide. Trailing Blackberry produces small blackberries and can be found growing in disturbed sites and dry, open forests at low to mid elevations, making them prevalent on Vancouver Island and the lower mainland.
Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) is invasive in British Columbia and can be found throughout the Sea to Sky Region. The stem is robust and stiff with large prickles which are either hooked or flattened; stems can reach 12 m in length and 3 m in height. Leaves are round with tapered edges and the flowers are white-pinkish with a 5-petal arrangement.
Common Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis) looks similar to Himalayan Blackberry, but is slightly smaller, and has leaflets with lightly toothed rather than jagged edges.
Habitat and Origin
Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry originates from Europe and was brought to North America for fruit production.
Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry can be found growing in a wide range of habitats such as disturbed areas, pastures, forest plantations, roadsides, riparian areas, riverbanks and wetland edges.
Propagation & Vectors of Spread
Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry can reproduce both by seed and vegetatively. Flowers either self-pollinate or are pollinated, allowing the plant to reproduce by seed. It can also reproduce vegetatively by sprouting root buds and root developments on canes.
Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry can spread by rooting from the cane tips touching the ground or from the nodes along the canes. It can also spread by seed when birds and animals ingest the fruit, later dispersing them away from the parent plant.
Ecological and Economic Impacts
- Outcompetes native vegetation
- Reduces biodiversity
- Can hinder the growth of shade-intolerant tree species
- Infests stream channels and banks
- Restrics the access of wildlife to water bodies
- Degrades pastures
- Increases the likelihood of erosion along banks because it lacks deep, stabilizing roots like those of native wetland shrubs and trees
- Reduces land value
- Limits recreational access to water bodies
- Reduces sight lines along infrastructure
What Can I Do?
Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry is currently found throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor, so the best approach to controlling its spread is by PREVENTION.
Learn to identify Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry: use the images presented in this profile page to learn how to identify Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry.
What to do if you spot it: You can report any Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry sighting by clicking here.
- Regularly monitor properties for weed infestations.
- Ensure soil and gravel are uncontaminated before transport.
- Check wildflower mixes to ensure that they do not contain Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry.
- Unload, park or store equipment or vehicles in infested areas; remove plant material from any equipment, vehicles or clothing used in such areas and wash equipment and vehicles at designated cleaning sites before leaving infested areas.
- Plant Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry in a garden, no matter how well-contained its enclosure may seem.
- Move soil that has been contaminated with Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry.
Because of its food value, SSISC’s approach is to only use mechanical methods to control invasive Cutleaf Evergreen Blackberry, except at a handful of special case sites, which are not accessible to the public.
Repeated cutting and mowing can keep plants from over-taking, however cutting followed immediately by root removal proves to be the most effective. Pulling canes out of the ground before berry production also helps to control infestations.
- Treating infestations with glysophate in the fall while canes are actively growing, after berries have formed and before the first frost, has proven an effective chemical control method.
- Triclopyr, 2,4-D and metsulfron are also effective forms of chemical control.
- We recommend that any herbicide application is carried out by a person holding a valid BC Pesticide Applicator Certificate. Before selecting and applying herbicides, you must review and follow herbicide labels and application rates; municipal, regional, provincial and federal laws and regulations; species-specific treatment recommendations, and site-specific goals and objectives.
Long term grazing by goats has been proven effective, and chickens can be used to decrease the seed bank.
- Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia, Rubus laciniatus, https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Rubus%20laciniatus
- Fraser Valley Invasive Species Society, Evergreen Blackberry, https://fviss.ca/invasive-plant/evergreen-blackberry
- King County Noxious Weed Control Board, Best Management Practices for Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus, syn. Rubus discolor) and Evergreen Blackberry (Rubus laciniatus), https://your.kingcounty.gov/dnrp/library/water-and-land/weeds/BMPs/blackberry-control.pdf
- King County Noxious Weed Control Board, Evergreen Blackberry Identification and Control, https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/animals-and-plants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/evergreen-blackberry.aspx
- iNaturalist, Cutleaf Blackberry, https://www.inaturalist.org/guide_taxa/375522
- Simon Fraser University, Blackberry, Trailing, https://www.sfu.ca/halk-ethnobiology/html/plants/blkberry.htm
- United States Department of Agriculture Fire Effects Information System, Rubus laciniatus, https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/rublac/all.html
- Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, Evergreen Blackberry, https://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weeds/evergreen-blackberry