Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bramble, Wild Blackberry
Rubus fruticosus

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rubus (ROO-bus) (Info)
Species: fruticosus (froo-tih-KOH-sus) (Info)

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
6 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Jcmeinster On Nov 9, 2012, Jcmeinster from Conroe, TX wrote:

It's taking over the woodlands meadows here in SE TX . It loves being right at the edge of the woods , climbing and choking natives bushes and young trees . It's a survivor of last Year TX wild fires and drought and benefit from more sunny locations due death trees .
Yes I love the berries , but careful ! Nasty thorns guards this fruit !

Neutral BUFFY690 On Aug 11, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

It's taking over my flower beds, and the more I pull the more it grows from another spot, I do love making preserves and cheesecake sauces from the berries I do not like having my skin removed when I try to garden. This plant is going to get a full day of removal as soon as the temps break.

Positive LokiStormslove On Apr 27, 2010, LokiStormslove from Lumberton, NC wrote:

This plant has many healthful herbal properties. It is rich in vitamins and is a great anti-oxidant. Extracts from the plant can even help heal wounds. The leaves can be brewed into a healthy tea and the fruit has a wonderful flavour. The plant attracts butterfly's and bees, which help pollinate other flowers.
The spring flowers which are white, are very attractive. If this plant is managed properly it can be a bonus for any back yard gardener.

Positive creekwalker On Jul 16, 2008, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I LOVE our wild blackberry! We've been here 3 years and it's not super aggressive and all we do is trim the suckers. The fruit is sweet and tasty! I do plan on letting it spread just a bit more. I want lots of fruit!

Positive jleigh On May 31, 2008, jleigh from Ballston Lake, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

For every plant I pull or cut or destroy, I get two more somewhere else in the yard. The thorns are nasty on them and fire ants seems to like building colonies below them.
However negative this plant may be, I love the fruit. Out of all berries, the wild blackberry is my favorite.
I remember picking these in Northern Wisconsin as a child. My fingers and face would be purple for days and my bucket never held as many as my tummy... We would make muffins, cakes, jams, pancakes... anything you could think of putting berries in would have these.

They tend to be larger and sweeter than domesticated berries. I have also seen one wild blackberry outproduce four domesticated blackberries in a season.
If you love berries and keep them under control these are wonderful plants.
I do suggest bird netting if you don't like to share with our feathered friends.

Negative Silphion On May 30, 2006, Silphion from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

So I was casually looking through Dave's "Top Thugs" section, feeling generally gratified that others hate the Tree of Heaven and English Ivy as much as I do, but wait, no Himalayan Blackberry on this list???

Most Top Thugs do have good things going for them: fast growing tree of heaven (I can't help it but trying to think of good things about it turns my stomach) English Ivy makes beautiful evergreen hedges (along with stamping out anything it it's path) and yes, the Himalayan Blackberry does have huge tasty fruit, ok, I'm done being nice.

Along with the above mentioned Top Thugs (Kudzu's also not on the list? Are you kidding?) the Himalayan blackberry should be dug up by the roots at every opportunity. If you, like I, love the taste of blackberries, please, please, please buy a non-invasive cultivar for your yard and join me in the quest agienst this horrid foregn invader!!!

Negative zsnp On Feb 20, 2006, zsnp from Pensacola, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Extremely invasive. The berries taste good, but the animals are usually the first to harvest them. Here in Pensacola, two of the most invasive plants are blackberry and greenbrier. You can find these two plants EVERYWHERE. Both of them have thorns. And fences are their favorite place to climb.

Positive melody On Jan 23, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Common along fence rows and fallow ground, the wild blackberry is seen all across our area. Blooming around the first week of May and the first fruits ripen about the first week of July.

At one time, it was a common sight along backroads and over grown farms, but urban development has made this a more unusual plant than it used to be.

It will never be in danger of extinction because birds, who love the fruits, will rapidly replinish the plants.

The fruits are tasty and quite edible for humans, and although a bit more seedy than their tame cousins, the taste is much better.

Negative caron On Nov 25, 2004, caron from Woodland Park, CO (Zone 4b) wrote:

Not allowed for import to the US and not allowed in any interstate or intrastate transportation without a specific permit from USDA APHIS PPQ (Plant Protection and Quarantine).
No one should be selling/growing this plant in the U.S.

Negative CatskillKarma On Jul 11, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

This is the first plant to appear in fields and roads allowed to grow wild in the Catskills. It is very invasive. It is also a bear magnet. I live on the mountain where they dump the nuisance bears (no one lives here, the authorities think!) and a crop of blackberries will draw a bear faster than anything else. I actively remove any plants within the fence around my yard to discourage bears from breaching the fence. The plants have nasty prickers and picking the berries is best done in thick clothing. However, there's nothing better than blackberry cobbler. I pick that crop along an abandonned logging road nearby, with my houndog accompanying me to keep the bears at bay.

Positive NatureWalker On Jul 10, 2004, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I found this plant growing today while walking though a vacant lot in town. It is not even visible to the eyes out near the curb; it's way in the back where I went to explore. I'm taking some cuttings and fruit tomorrow; before someone comes along at whacks it down, thinking it's something that's poisonous. I have a container and old trellising wire that is just perfect for it.

Positive rosebear_ca On Jul 3, 2004, rosebear_ca from Oroville, CA wrote:

Wild blackberries grow prolificly in the inland of N. California as well...we enjoyed blackberry crisp last night and blackberry waffles this morning! And we still have about a ton to pick! I know they're invasive, but they're managable with some effort!

Negative ladyrowan On Apr 1, 2004, ladyrowan from Garberville, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Living in Northern California, you see blackberries everywhere! I admit that the berries are good, but these vines are simply nasty. We have two different varieties growing on the borders of our yard, and beneath the trees, and in the lawn.... *sigh*

The other drawback to blackberry bushes, is that poison oak LOVES to grow along with them. So, you trim the blackberries, you get poison oak. I've cut some of the bushes back, but quite often, this causes the remaining section to grow back much stronger. The only plus, is if you cut a bush back severely, the berries will be huge and juicy!

Neutral Baa On Sep 11, 2001, Baa wrote:

Thorny, climbing shrub from Europe and often found in hedgerows in all habitats. Has large, mid green, palmate with 5 toothed, coarse leaflets. Thorns adorn the biennial stems which arch and root where ever they touch the ground. Bears white or sometimes pink, 5 petalled, wild rose like flowers with lots of stamens in the centre. Fruit is black, shiny, with many small berries which make up the whole fruit. The fruit is edible and many wild birds and mammals depend on them for Autumn food.

Flowers May - September.

While undesirable in a nice neat garden, they have a use as a hedge plant and many Europeans recall lazy late summer days blackberry picking along the hedgerows. The berries will dye your fingers a lurid pink and even dogs enjoy the berries. Its an invaluable shrub for wild life and blackberry and apple pie.

Other uses may surpise you, the roots can be used as an orange dye.

The fruit is high in vitamin C.

Infused leaves and young shoots can be used as a tonic in bath water to revive tired skin.

Leaves can also be decocted as a gargle for sore throats or made into a poultice for skin ulcers.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Midland City, Alabama
Garberville, California
Hampton, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Benton, Kentucky
Calvert City, Kentucky
Richmond, Kentucky
Tyngsboro, Massachusetts
Marietta, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Saint James, Missouri
Trenton, New Jersey
Ballston Lake, New York
Deposit, New York
Haines Falls, New York
Jefferson, New York
West Kill, New York
Connellys Springs, North Carolina
Lumberton, North Carolina
Norlina, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Effingham, South Carolina
Prosperity, South Carolina
Jacksonville, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas

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