blackberry

Rubus anglocandicans
Shrub
Palmate
Compound
White
Green

An upright, arching or scrambling shrubby plant that usually forms dense thickets its stems are armed with prickles and become woody with age its compound leaves have three or five spreading leaflets and are borne on prickly stalks these leaflets are usually egg-shaped in outline or oval in shape with variously toothed margins. Its white or pale pink flowers have five petals, five sepals, and numerous stamens. Its fleshy fruit (10-30 mm across) turn red as they begin to mature and then glossy black when fully ripe.

Common names 
Also known as: blackberry, European blackberry, shrubby blackberry, bramble,
Family 
Rosaceae
Deciduous 
No
Flowering time 
Spring - Summer
Native/Exotic 
Exotic
Origin 
The native distribution of Rubus anglocandicans is thought to be restricted to the UK.
Notifiable 
No
State declaration 
Category 3 - Must not be distributed or disposed. This means it must not be released into the environment unless the distribution or disposal is authorised in a regulation or under a permit.
Council declaration 
As per State Declaration
Known distribution 

Rubus anglocandicans is widely naturalised throughout the wetter parts of southern and eastern Australia. It is most common and widespread in eastern New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, south-eastern South Australia and the coastal districts of south-western It is also occasionally naturalised in the cooler sub-coastal districts of south-eastern Queensland, in other wetter parts of South Australia, in some parts of inland southern New South Wales and on Norfolk Island.

Habitat 

A weed of disturbed sites, waste areas, roadsides, gardens, waterways (i.e. riparian vegetaiton), swamps, pastures, grasslands, orchards, plantations, bushland, open woodlands, forest margins and closed forests.

Habit 

An upright (i.e. erect), arching or scrambling shrubby plant that tends to grow in dense thickets. It usually grows 1-2 m tall, but occasionally reaches greater heights.

Impact and control methods 

For information on control measures see the Queensland Government's fact sheet

Stem and leaves 

The upright (i.e. erect), arching or trailing main stems (i.e. primocanes) are armed with stout prickles (3-12 mm long) that are either curved or straight. These stems are mostly hairless (i.e. glabrous) and are green or reddish in colour when young. They become woody with age and can be round, ribbed or angular in cross-section. The shorter flowering branches (i.e. floricanes) are somewhat similar, but tend to be rounded and more hairy (i.e. pubescent) than the main stems (i.e. primocanes). The palmately compound (i.e. digitate) leaves are alternately arranged, with three or five leaflets, and are borne on prickly leaf stalks (i.e. petioles). These leaves are often whitish-hairy (i.e. pubescent) below with darker green, less hairy or hairless (i.e. glabrous), upper surfaces. Leaflets are egg-shaped in outline (i.e. ovate) or oval (i.e. elliptic) in shape (30-90 mm long and 25-50 mm wide) with variously toothed (i.e. serrated) margins. Small prickles may also be found on the underside of these leaflets, particularly along their midribs.

Flowers and fruits 

The flowers are borne in clusters at the tips of short side branches. They are white or pale pink in colour (20-30 mm across) with five petals (about 10 mm long), five sepals, and numerous stamens. Flowering occurs mainly during late spring and summer. The fruit are commonly referred to as 'berries', but are actually aggregate fruit consisting of many fleshy segments (i.e. druplets), each of which contains a single small seed. These rounded (i.e. globular) fruit turn from green to red in colour as they begin to mature, and are eventually glossy black in colour when fully ripe (10-30 mm across). The seeds are light or dark brown in colour, irregularly shaped or almost triangular (2-3 mm long), and have deeply pitted surfaces.

Reproduction and dispersal 

This plant reproduces by seed, however it may also produce suckers from its woody rootstock and plantlets from the stem tips that come into contact with the soil surface (this process is known as layering).Seeds are spread by animals (particularly birds) that eat the fruit, and both seeds and stem fragments are dispersed in dumped garden waste.

Similar species 

There are numerous other Rubus species that are native to, or naturalised, in Australia. Some of these other species can be difficult to distinguish from European blackberry (Rubus anglocandicans), and a specialist key should be consulted.The most recent, comprehensive, and easy to use resource is the Blackberry: an identification tool to introduced and native Rubus in Australia CD-ROM.