Rosaceae - Rubus fruticosus agg.

What does it look like?

Blackberry is a scrambling, very thorny, semi-erect shrub that is usually deciduous, with large root crowns and long suckers. Stems are usually arching (occasionally semi-prostrate), entangled, green or red and occasionally layering.  Variously shaped (usually cut-edged), flat leaves are arranged alternately on the stems.  White to pink 5-petalled flowers appear from November to April followed by clusters of black berries from November to May.

Why is it a problem?

Blackberry forms dense, long-lived clumps. Low plants scramble over the ground with an extensive rhizome system, occasionally layering and seeding.  Tolerates most soil types, drought and flood but is intolerant of dense shade.  Mostly spread by rhizomes.  Birds distribute seeds but they have a low germination rate.  Low to moderate damage in open habitats.  Smothers most low growing species, inhibiting the establishment of native plant seedings, and impedes access. 


Control Methods

Physical control:

  • Dig out (small patches only) (all year round).
    Dispose of root crowns and rhizomes at a refuse transfer station or burn or bury deeply.


  • Small patches only: stem scrape and paint with undiluted glyphosate immediately (within a couple of minutes).
  • Small patches only: cut and paint stumps with glyphosate 200ml-500ml per 10L water. 
  • Large patches: spray (summer-autumn, before leaves become brittle) with:
    Metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (7.5g per 15L water);
    Tordon Brushkiller (60ml per 15L water); 
    Triclopyr 600 EC (60ml/15L).

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


Blackberry rust has been released for Blackberry.  If you would like to learn more, click the request info button or contact us on 0800 002 004 Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.