Sweet Briar

Also known as:
Briar Rose, Eglantine Rose
Europe, North Africa

General description

Erect, deciduous shrub <2.5m tall. Stems have numerous curved thorns & bristles. Bright green leaves, 5-7 leaflets, numerous sweet smelling glands. Small clusters of pink flowers (Feb-May) followed by conspicuous orange-red hips.

Tussock grassland, riverbeds, flats, terraces, banks, roadsides.

Seeds spread via birds & water. Can also regrow from root or stem fragments.

Abundant in the absence of competition, changing the native flora composition.

Site management

Grazing does not control plant, merely eliminates plant competition. Exclude livestock, maintain rabbit & other browsing pest control. Planting sites can minimise seedling regrowth. Do not replant for at least 4 months after spraying.

Recommended approaches

1.Dig out small patches removing all root & stem fragments – beware thorns!
2. Cut stump paint summer - autumn (1g metsulfuron/1L).
3.Spray at full leaf stage (5g metsulfuron+10ml penetrant/10L or 60ml Tordon BK/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

blackberry (wild aggregates)
Rubus fruiticosus agg.

Blackberry leaflets are much larger than sweet briar. Flowers are white as opposed to pink.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
sweet briar - Main species image