Himalayan Blackberry

Rubus armeniacus

Himalayan Blackberry

Family: Rosaceae

Other Scientific Names:

Rubus discolor, Rubus procerus, Rubus bifrons

Weed class: C
Year Listed: 2009
Native to: Asia
Is this Weed Toxic?:

not known to be

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

It is a notorious invasive species in many countries around the world and costs millions of dollars for both control and in estimated impacts. This species spreads aggressively and has severe negative impacts to native plants, wildlife and livestock.

How would I identify it?

General Description

It is a rambling evergreen, perennial, woody shrub with stout stems that possess stiff, hooked prickles. It may grow up to 13.1 feet. Plants grow into impenetrable thickets.

Flower Description

Flower clusters (panicles) are flat-topped and have 5 to 20 flowers. Each flower has 5 petals that are white to rose colored and about 1 inch in diameter.

Leaf description

Leaves are alternately arranged on stems. Each leaf is palmately compound and made up of 3 to 5 (typically 5) leaflets with toothed margins

Stem description

Stems, commonly called canes, can reach up to 20 to 40 feet and can root at their tips when they touch the ground. Canes have hooked, sharp prickles with wide bases. They made dense thickets that are impassable and sprawl over the surrounding vegetation.

Fruit Seed Description

Flowers form blackberries—a grouping of small, shiny, black druplets that each contain one seed. Blackberries are about 1/2 inch to 7/8 inch in size.

Where does it grow?

It can grow in mixed and deciduous forests and a variety of disturbed sites such as roadsides, railroad tracks, logged lands, field margins and riparian areas. It does well in a wide range of soil pH and textures. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of Himalayan blackberry in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

It can reproduce by seeds and also vegetatively. Flowers can produce seeds with and without fertilization. It can vegetatively reproduce by re-sprouting rootstalks, rooting stem tips and root and stem fragments.

How Do I Control It?

Mechanical Control

Mechanical control methods include: 1.repeatedly digging out root crowns and large roots 2. repeated removal of above ground growth several times a year 3. burning the plants and returning for follow up control as plants will not be completely controlled with fire.

Cultural Control


Biological Control

Success has been noted from grazing, especially by goats, yet sheep, cattle and horses may also be effective. This method seems to control the population from spreading and becoming larger rather than eradicating the plants from the site.

Herbicide Control

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

See our Written Findings for more information about Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus).

Whatcom County NWCB Fact Sheet on Himalayan Blackberry

Mason County NWCB Fact Sheet on Himalayan Blackberry

Cowlitz County NWCB Fact Sheet on invasive blackberries

Jefferson County NWCB Fact Sheet on invasive blackberries

Whatcom County NWCB Fact Sheet on invasive blackberries

Asotin County NWCB Fact Sheet on invasive blackberries

Clark County NWCB Fact Sheet on invasive blackberries

King County NWCB Fact Sheet on invasive blackberries

Control Options for Blackberry from King County NWCB

Additional Photos