Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Himalayan Blackberry - Rubus discolor

Family: Rosaceae (Rose family) [E-flora]



"Rubus procerus is a deciduous Shrub growing to 10 m (32ft 10in) at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile."
"Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF]

Himalayan blackberry is an introduced invasive species of Rubus that originates in Armenia. It was introduced to Europe in 1835, and Australasia and North America in 1885, for its fruit, but soon escaped and naturalized (Wikipedia 2010). It is now present in most of temperate regions of the world. In North America, Himalayan blackberry is found in many US states (USA (AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, HI, ID, IL, KY, MA, MO, MT, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, TN, UT, VA, WA) and two Canadian provinces (BC, ON) (USDA 2010). It appeared in BC in the 1970's and was collected by Brink and McHale in 1973 in Pitt Meadows (UBC Herbarium record, V178889). In the lower Fraser delta this species forms thick hedgerows along fields and waterways, and provides 'briar patch' shelter for feral domestic rabbits. It is an ecosystem altering species that disrupts natural systems. [E-flora]
Both its scientific name and origin have been the subject of much confusion, with much of the literature referring to it as either Rubus procerus or Rubus discolor, and often mistakenly citing its origin as western European.[2][3][4][Wiki]

Food Uses

Other Uses


"Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[1, 11, 200]. A form of this species, known as 'Himalayan giant', is commonly cultivated in temperate zones for its edible fruit[50]. Although a blackberry, the stems are often perennial and can fruit for more than one year[50].... Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]." [PFAF]


"Seed - requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200]. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn[200]." [PFAF]


Page last modified on Wednesday, October 04, 2023 10:00 PM