Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Rubus laciniatus


SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Tirmenstein, D. 1989. Rubus laciniatus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : RUBLAC SYNONYMS : Rubus vulgaris SCS PLANT CODE : RULA COMMON NAMES : evergreen blackberry cutleaf blackberry cut-leaved blackberry cut-leaf blackberry blackberry slashed blackberry TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of the evergreen blackberry is Rubus laciniatus Willd. [23]. Infrataxa have not been described, although a number of commercially grown cultivars have been derived from this species. Evergreen blackberry is known to hybridize with R. inermis [7]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The evergreen blackberry is a native of Eurasia [4] which has become widely naturalized in North America. It now occurs through much of the Northwest, from British Columbia to northern California west of the Cascades and eastward to Idaho [19,20]. Evergreen blackberry also grows throughout much of New England, extending westward to Michigan and southward to the Middle Atlantic States [4,33,36]. It is locally established in parts of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado [8,9,10]. It is cultivated in Hawaii [43]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES10 White - red - jack pine FRES11 Spruce - fir FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES18 Maple - beech - birch FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES23 Fir - spruce FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce FRES25 Larch FRES28 Western hardwoods STATES : CA CO CT DE HI ID IN MD MA MI MT NJ NY NC OH OR PA RI SC VT VA WV WY BC ON BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 3 Southern Pacific Border 5 Columbia Plateau 8 Northern Rocky Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K001 Spruce - cedar - hemlock forest K002 Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K014 Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest K025 Alder - ash forest K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest K095 Great Lakes pine forest K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest SAF COVER TYPES : 21 Eastern white pine 30 Red spruce - yellow birch 31 Red spruce - sugar maple - beech 60 Beech - sugar maple 64 Sassafras - persimmon 78 Virginia pine - oak 79 Virginia pine 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 81 Loblolly pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 109 Hawthorn 210 Interior Douglas-fir 213 Grand fir 221 Red alder 224 Western hemlock 227 Western redcedar - western hemlock 228 Western redcedar 229 Pacific Douglas-fir 230 Douglas-fir - western hemlock SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Evergreen blackberry grows across a wide range of plant communities. It commonly occurs in oldfield communities of the Northeast and Middle Atlantic States. In the Pacific Northwest, this shrub grows in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)-western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)-western hemlock forests [1,24]. In many coniferous forests, it is particularly abundant on heavily thinned or disturbed sites [24]. Evergreen blackberry grows in red alder ((Alnus rubra) communities of western Oregon [17] and in riparian forests of the Central Valley and central coast of California with such species as trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus) and Himalayan blackberry (R. discolor) [35]. Common associated understory species include thimbleberry (R. parviflorus), salmonberry (R. spectabilis), huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.), deerfern (Blechnum spicant), Oregon oxalis (Oxalis oregana), and false lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum dilatatum) [1].


SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Wildlife: The evergreen blackberry provides food and cover for many wildlife species. Blackberries are eaten by numerous birds, including the ring-necked pheasant, northern bobwhite, gray catbird, northern cardinal, yellow-breasted chat, pine grosbeak, American robin, orchard oriole, summer tanager, brown thrasher, thrushes, towhees, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, California quail, gray (Hungarian) partridge, and band-tailed pigeon. Mammals, such as the coyote, skunks, common opossum, gray fox, red fox, raccoon, squirrels, chipmunks and black bear, consume the fruit of blackberries [6,42]. Deer, rabbits, and mountain beaver occasionally browse the foliage of blackberries [6]. In many locations, porcupine and beaver feed on the leaves, buds, cambium, and stems [42]. In parts of California, elk may consume small amounts of evergreen blackberry browse, particularly in winter [16]. Livestock: Blackberries generally provide only minimal browse for domestic livestock [42]. Evergreen blackberry is moderately grazed by domestic sheep but is seldom used by cattle [20]. PALATABILITY : Fruits of blackberries are highly palatable to many birds and mammals. Palatability of evergreen blackberry browse has not been documented. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Evergreen blackberry provides important cover for a variety of wildlife species. Dense thickets form good nesting habitat for many small birds [6]. Mammals, such as rabbits, the red squirrel, black bear, and beaver, utilize blackberry thickets for hiding or resting cover [42]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Many species of blackberry are valuable in preventing soil erosion on barren, infertile, disturbed sites [4,42]. Plants may be propagated vegetatively, transplanted, or seeded onto disturbed sites. Brinkman [4] observed that scarified seed can be successfully planted in the late summer or early fall. Cold treatment is not required for seeds planted in the fall, although seed planted in the spring should be stratified and scarified. Good results have been obtained after seeds were planted with a drill and covered with 1/8 to 3/16 inch (0.3-0.5 cm) of soil [4]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Fruits of the evergreen blackberry are sweet and edible. A number of commercially grown thornless cultivars have been developed, including `Austin Thornless,' `Thornless Evergreen,' `Thornless,' `Black Satin,' `Dirksen Thornless,' `Georgia Thornless,' `Darrow,' `Thornfree,' and `Smoothstem' [15,22]. The evergreen blackberry, a common garden species, was first cultivated in 1770 [4]. The fruit, roots, and stems have been used to make various medicinal preparations [4]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Competition: The evergreen blackberry commonly occurs on disturbed sites and has been observed in heavily thinned plots in spruce (Picea spp.)-hemlock (Tsuga spp.) forests of the central Oregon coast [1]. It reportedly spreads quickly following timber harvesting in Douglas-fir forests of the Northwest [20]. In some areas, this vigorous invader may compete with native vegetation on seriously disturbed sites. Chemical control: A number of herbicides can be used to control evergreen blackberry. Glyphosate, picloram + 2,4-D, and triclopyr amine have proven particularly effective [5]. Propagation: Detailed information is available on various methods of commercial blackberry propagation [6]. Some herbicides appear to be effective in reducing competing weeds, while leaving evergreen blackberry unharmed [3,5].


SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Evergreen blackberry is a semierect to erect and arching, much-branched shrub which grows up to 10 feet (3 m) in height [30,33]. These shrubs often grow in a dense cluster [32]. Stems often trail at the ends and are covered with numerous stout, curved thorns [32,33]. The stems of blackberries are generally biennial. Sterile first-year stems, known as primocanes, develop from buds at or below the ground surface and produce only leaves. Lateral branches, or floricanes, develop in the axils of the primocanes during the second year and bear both leaves and flowers [14]. Evergreen leaves have five leaflets and are palmately or, less commonly, pinnately compound [33]. Leaves are green on both surfaces, but hairy beneath. Leaflets are lacinate to dissected [18]. Perfect white-to-pink or rose flowers are borne in compound paniculate cymes [32,33]. Fruit of the evergreen blackberry is large, round, and shiny black in color [30,32]. Fruit grows up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) in length and is made up of a few large, sweet, succulent drupelets [4,30,32]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Evergreen blackberry regenerates both sexually and through vegetative means. Reproductive versatility is well represented in the Rubus genus, with sexual reproduction, parthenogenesis (development of the egg without fertilization), pseudogamy (a form of apomixis in which pollination is required), and parthenocarpy (production of fruit without fertilization) occurring widely. The following types of reproduction have been documented in blackberries: (1) sexual reproduction, (2) nonreduction at meiosis on the female, male, or both sides, (3) apomixis with segregation, (4) apomixis without segregation, and (5) haploid parthenogenesis [7]. These modes of asexual reproduction help contribute to the vigorous, aggressive spread of blackberries. Vegetative regeneration: The mostly biennial stems of blackberries typically develop from perennial rootstocks or creeping stems located aboveground. Most species within the Rubus genus are capable of vigorous sprouting from root or stem suckers and rooting stem tips [14]. Evergreen blackberry produces numerous adventitious root suckers, even in the absence of disturbance [15]. These root suckers are presumably capable of producing new primocanes as the connection to the parent plant is eliminated. Evergreen blackberry also spreads rapidly as aboveground vegetation roots at the nodes [20]. Evergreen blackberry typically sprouts vigorously following disturbance. Seed: Most blackberries produce good seed crops nearly every year [4]. During the first year of development, blackberries grow from perennial rootstocks or creeping stems and produce sterile vegetative shoots known as primocanes. Lateral branches (floricanes) develop in the axils during the second year which produce both leaves and flowers [14]. Immature fruit of the evergreen blackberry is a dull red [4]. Ripe berries are shiny black, and made up of relatively few large drupelets [4,31,32]. Cleaned evergreen blackberry seed averages approximately 137,000 per pound (301,762/kg) [4]. Apomixis is particularly common in the evergreen blackberry [15]. Germination: Blackberry seeds have a hard impermeable coat and dormant embryo [2,14]; consequently, germination is often slow. Most blackberries require, as a minimum, warm stratification at 68 to 86 degrees F (20 to 30 degrees C) for 90 days, followed by cold stratification at 36 to 41 degrees F (2 to 5 degrees C) for an additional 90 days [2]. These conditions are frequently encountered naturally, as seeds mature in summer and remain in the soil throughout the cold winter months. Scarification also appears to improve germination. Laboratory tests indicate that exposure to sulfuric acid solutions or sodium hyperchlorite prior to cold stratification can enhance germination [2]. Evidence suggests that avian digestive processes can also help scarify the seed of blackberries [14]. Results of specific germination tests of blackberry seed are as follows [14]: seed pregerm. last germ. real amount potential fed to: treatment of seed of germ. germ. (%) (in days) (in # of (%) (% seeds still days) alive at end of test) waxwing none -- 0 50 waxwing warm 90 + cold 90 -- 0 51 Am. robin none -- 0 66 Am. robin warm 90 + cold 90 41 17 60 n. catbird none -- 0 59 n. catbird warm 90 + cold 90 49 21 72 control none -- 0 81 control warm 90 + cold 90 27 3 81 Researchers observed that although some seed was mechanically damaged while being ingested, intact seeds typically exhibited improved germination [14]. These test findings emphasized the importance of prior cold stratification for best blackberry germination. Seedbanking: Blackberry seed is typically long-lived when buried in the soil or duff [2,15]. Researchers have located viable buried seed of the evergreen blackberry at depths of 0 to 2 inches (0-5 cm) in coastal Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests of British Columbia [12]. Seed dispersal: Seed of evergreen blackberry is primarily animal dispersed [1]. After they mature, the highly sought-after fruits rarely remain on the plants for long [2]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Evergreen blackberry grows in a wide range of sites throughout much of North America. It is most commonly naturalized on waste ground or disturbed areas [1033]. Evergreen blackberry has escaped from cultivated gardens in many areas [4]. Soils: Blackberries grow well on a variety of barren, infertile soils [4]. These shrubs tolerate a wide range of soil texture and pH but require adequate soil moisture for good growth [6]. Elevation: Evergreen blackberry grows from sea level along the Pacific Coast to higher elevations farther inland. Evergreen blackberry has been reported at 5,600 feet (1,707 m) in Colorado [8]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Evergreen blackberry is primarily regarded as an early seral species. It has been reported on initially disturbed and early immature stands in coniferous forests of southwestern British Columbia [25]. Evergreen blackberry is also abundant in old field communities and on disturbed sites in the Northeast. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Seasonal development of the evergreen blackberry varies according to geographic location and climatic factors. Specific phenological development has been documented as follows [4,30,33]: location flowering fruit ripening seed dispersal California May-July -- -- Carolinas May-June June-July -- Northeast June-August July-October September-October Pacific Coast June-August August-September October-November


SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Evergreen blackberry is frequently observed on recently burned sites [1,39]. Most species of blackberry sprout prolifically from rootstocks, roots, or rhizomes, even when aboveground foliage is totally consumed by fire. Evergreen blackberry can root from the nodes of aboveground stems [20], and rapid spread is likely where portions of the stem remain undamaged. Evergreen blackberry is described as a seedbanking species which can readily reoccupy disturbed sites through seed stored on-site [24]. Seed can apparently remain viable for long periods of time when stored in the soil or duff [4] and germinate in large numbers after fire. The large, sweet, succulent fruit of blackberries amply "reward" animal dispersers [21], and postfire establishment of some evergreen blackberry seed from off-site is probable [1]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil Geophyte, growing points deep in soil Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community) Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Although evergreen blackberry plants may be top-killed, actual mortality appears to be uncommon due to the prolific sprouting ability of this shrub. Most evergreen blackberry seeds stored on-site in the soil or duff are probably unharmed by fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Vegetative regeneration: Most blackberries readily regenerate from roots, rhizomes, or rootstocks when aboveground foliage is consumed by fire [12,14]. Roots are generally well protected from the direct effects of heat by overlying layers of soil. The evergreen blackberry is known to produce adventitious root suckers [15] and presumably sprouts when aboveground vegetation is totally consumed by fire. This shrub is capable of regenerating by means of horizontal aboveground stems, which root at the nodes in soil or duff [20], even in the absence of disturbance. Rapid spread is probable where portions of the aboveground stem remain undamaged by fire. Postfire recovery: The evergreen blackberry quickly assumes prominence on many types of burned or disturbed sites [38] and is often well represented on waste ground [33]. Its role as a vigorous invader suggests the potential for rapid postfire recovery in many areas. Seedling establishment: Seedbanking may be an important regenerative strategy in the evergreen blackberry [24]. Some seed may also be transported from off-site by birds or mammals [4]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Wildlife: Species which consume large amounts of blackberries are often benefited by fire [26]. Competition: Many blackberries are favored by fire and can aggressively compete with conifer seedlings in some postfire communities.


SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
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