White blackberry is a prickly scrambling shrub with dark coloured berries and white stems. It forms thickets that can prevent other plants from growing.
White blackberry is fast-growing and very invasive. It:
White blackberry is a perennial shrub with arching stems that climb to 2 m tall. Stems become tangled and can form prickly thickets. It usually flowers in spring and summer.
The leaves are made up of 5-9 (sometimes 11) smaller leaflets. The leaflets are in opposite pairs with one bigger leaflet on the end. Leaflets are:
There are two types of stems (also called canes):
Primocanes usually die back in the second year, after they have grown floricanes.
The root system has:
White blackberry is present on the North Coast of NSW. It has been found from Karangi to Coffs Harbour and around Mullumbimby.
It is also a weed in Queensland, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. It was first introduced to Australia for the large amounts of fruit it produces.
It is native to India, China and Southeast Asia.
Plants grow best in well drained soil but it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, soil types and rainfall. However, it is not drought tolerant. In very cold climates plants may die in winter, re-sprouting in spring. White blackberry grows:
On average each berry produces 180 seeds. They can stay viable in the soil for up to 10 years. Seedlings are able to grow in shady situations. Birds and other animals eat the fruit and spread the seeds.
When primocanes touch the ground, they can send out roots and become new plants. These plants are called daughter plants. Plants can also grow from roots fragments.
Global Invasive Species Database (2021) Species profile: Rubus niveus. Retrieved 2018 from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1232 on 10-08-2021.
PARMAR, C., & KAUSHAL, M. (1982). Rubus niveus. In Wild Fruits (pp. 88–91). Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi, India.
PlantNET (The NSW Plant Information Network System). Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney. Retrieved 24 April 2020 from https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/WhiteBlackberry
Pollard, K. (2020) Invasive Species Compendium Datasheet: Rubus niveus (Mysore raspberry). CABI International Retrieved 30 April 2020 from: https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/107939
Rentería, J. L., Gardener, M. R., Panetta, F. D., Atkinson, R., & Crawley, M. J. (2012). Possible impacts of the invasive plant Rubus niveus on the native vegetation of the Scalesia forest in the Galapagos Islands. PLoS One, 7(10).
Renteria, J. L., Gardener, M. R., Panetta, F. D., & Crawley, M. J. (2012). Management of the invasive hill raspberry (Rubus niveus) on Santiago Island, Galapagos: eradication or indefinite control?. Invasive plant science and management, 5(1), 37-46.
St. Quinton, J. M., Fay, M. F., Ingrouille, M., & Faull, J. (2011). Characterisation of Rubus niveus: a prerequisite to its biological control in oceanic islands. Biocontrol science and technology, 21(6), 733-752.
White blackberry can be controlled by hand pulling, grazing and herbicides. Generally, no single control option used on its own will succeed. Best results will use a combination of methods. The key is to follow up any control work to make sure the plant has not regrown. This is particularly the case for larger infestations.
Goats have been used to manage blackberry infestations. Once the goats are removed follow-up monitoring and control will be needed. Goats can move seeds via their droppings. Holding goats in a paddock that can be easily inspected for weeds can help prevent moving weeds to a new area.
Hand pull or dig out seedlings and small plants. Be careful to avoid injuries from prickles. It is important to remove all of the roots to stop plants regrowing.
Use slashing to get access when infestations are very dense. It should be followed up with herbicide control. Slashing is expensive and will not kill the weed if it is the only method used. Irregular slashing strengthens the root system, which then requires more herbicide to kill the plants. Slashing can stimulate new growth, which will make the infestation thicker.
Spot spraying and cut stump methods are effective. The best time to spray is when it is actively growing. The cut stump method is best when the plants are sparse and you can easily access the base of the plant without injuries from the thorns.
See Using herbicides for more information.
PERMIT 9907 Expires 31/03/2025
Glyphosate 360 g/L with Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg (Various products)
Rate: 2L of Glyphosate plus 15 g of Brush-off in 100 L of water
Comments: Spot spray application, plus add a wetter.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: M, Inhibitors of EPSP synthase
Resistance risk: Moderate
Picloram 44.7 g/L + Aminopyralid 4.47 g/L
(Vigilant II ®)
Comments: Cut stump application. Apply a 3-5 mm layer of gel for stems less than 20 mm. Apply a 5 mm layer on stems above 20 mm.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate
The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.
|All of NSW||General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Prevention)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Land managers should eradicate the plant from the land and keep the land free of the plant. A person should not deal with the plant, where dealings include but are not limited to buying, selling, growing, moving, carrying or releasing the plant. Notify local control authority if found.
Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Eradication)
Notify local control authority if found. Land managers should eradicate the plant from the land and keep the land free of the plant. A person should not deal with the plant, where dealings include but are not limited to buying, selling, growing, moving, carrying or releasing the plant.
An exclusion zone is established for all land in the North Coast region, except the core infestation (containment) zone in the Coffs Harbour City LGA.
Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Containment)
Whole of region: Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. A person should not buy, sell, move, carry or release the plant into the environment. Exclusion zone: Notify local control authority if found. Land managers should eradicate the plant from the land and keep the land free of the plant. Core infestation: Land managers should mitigate spread of the plant from their land. Land managers should reduce the impact of the plant on assets of high economic, environmental and/or social value.
|*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfil the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here|