Blackberry (Wild Aggregates)

Also known as:
Northern Temperate

General description

Erect, scrambling, thorny perennial shrub. Grows in thickets <2m tall formed by arching stems or canes <7m long. Dark green shiny leaves normally shed in winter. Small white or pink flowers (Nov-Apr). Sweet purplish berries (Jan-Mar).

Open areas, roadsides, stream banks, waste areas, pasture, plantations.

Spreads vegetatively via suckering stems. Seeds spread by birds & waterways. Spreads from lateral suckering & from daughter plants.

Develops dense canopy cover in short time. Dominates native flora in swamps. Pasture use and access are reduced. Provides shelter for animal pests.

Site management

Where underlying vegetation is undesirable, spraying is preferred as gives 95%+ control with little regrowth. Spray at least 4 months before planting. Intensive grazing will limit regrowth. The leaf rust Phragmidium violaceum has caused widespread loss of vigour. Combined with insect damage to leaves & roots, this may be enough to reduce competitiveness in some sites. Native spp. (over 3m) will usually overtop blackberry, then control needed only on margins. Where control is necessary, slashing improves access preceding dense planting, but small plants may be smothered by regrowth.

Recommended approaches

1. Dig out small patches.
2. Stem scrape and paint (glyphosate 100mls/100mls)immediately.
3. Cut and paint (glyphosate 200-500mls/1l). Only for small patches.
3. Spray when in active growth & with good leaf (5g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L or 100-150ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/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

sweet briar
Rosa rubiginosa

Sweet briars leaflets are much smaller than blackberry. Flowers are pink as opposed to pinky white.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
blackberry (wild aggregates) - Main species image