European blackberry

European blackberry

Rubus fruticosus

Common Name:

European blackberry

Scientific Name:

Rubus fruticosus

Alternative common names:

braam, bosbraam (Afrikaans)


Thorny shrub to 2m high with strongly arching stems that root at the growing point of the shoot. Green leaves, sometimes grey-downy beneath. White or pink flowers with petals that are much longer than the sepals, appearing from September to January. The flowerheads are prickly. The edible fruits are red turning black.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Mediterranean region of Europe.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 2 NEMBA - Category 2

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western and Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

Competes with and replaces indigenous woody and grassland species. Dense stands are impenetrable and restrict access to forestry plantations; they also restrict access to grazing and water by domestic and wild animals

What does it look like?

General description: A spreading thorny shrub growing to 2m high.
Leaves: Green leaves with finely serrated margins, sometimes grey-downy beneath.
Flowers: White or pink flowers with petals that are much longer than the sepals, from September to January.
Fruit/seeds: Fruits are red turning black.

Does the plant have any uses?

Edible fruits.

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