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:
On 21 August 2018, the common name of this species was changed in FEIS
from: evergreen blackberry
to: cutleaf blackberry. Images were also added.
NRCS PLANT CODE:
The scientific name of cutleaf blackberry is Rubus laciniatus Willd.
(Rosaceae) . Infrataxa have not been described, although a number
of commercially grown cultivars have been derived from this species.
Cutleaf blackberry hybridizes with R. inermis .
FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:
No special status
DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE
SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
The cutleaf blackberry is a native of Eurasia  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]. Cutleaf 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 .
|Distribution of cutleaf blackberry. Map courtesy of USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database.
National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC [2018, August 21] .
FRES10 White - red - jack pine
FRES11 Spruce - fir
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch
FRES23 Fir - spruce
FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce
FRES28 Western hardwoods
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
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
HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES:
Cutleaf 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 . Cutleaf blackberry grows in red alder
((Alnus rubra) communities of western Oregon  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) .
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) .
SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE:
Wildlife: The cutleaf 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 . In many locations, porcupine and beaver feed on the
leaves, buds, cambium, and stems . In parts of California, elk may
consume small amounts of cutleaf blackberry browse, particularly in
Livestock: Blackberries generally provide only minimal browse for
domestic livestock . Cutleaf blackberry is moderately grazed by
domestic sheep but is seldom used by cattle .
Fruits of blackberries are highly palatable to many birds and mammals.
Palatability of cutleaf blackberry browse has not been documented.
Cutleaf blackberry provides important cover for a variety of wildlife
species. Dense thickets form good nesting habitat for many small birds
. Mammals, such as rabbits, the red squirrel, black bear, and
beaver, utilize blackberry thickets for hiding or resting cover .
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
 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 .
OTHER USES AND VALUES:
Fruits of the cutleaf 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 cutleaf blackberry, a common garden species,
was first cultivated in 1770 .
The fruit, roots, and stems have been used to make various medicinal
OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Competition: The cutleaf 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 . It
reportedly spreads quickly following timber harvesting in Douglas-fir
forests of the Northwest . 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
cutleaf blackberry. Glyphosate, picloram + 2,4-D, and triclopyr amine
have proven particularly effective .
Propagation: Detailed information is available on various methods of
commercial blackberry propagation . Some herbicides appear to be
effective in reducing competing weeds, while leaving cutleaf
blackberry unharmed [3,5].
BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS
SPECIES: Rubus laciniatus
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Cutleaf 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 . 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 .
Cutleaf leaves have five leaflets and are palmately or, less commonly,
pinnately compound . Leaves are green on both surfaces, but hairy
beneath. Leaflets are lacinate to dissected .
Perfect white-to-pink or rose flowers are borne in compound paniculate
cymes [32,33]. Fruit of the cutleaf 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
RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM:
Cutleaf 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 . 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 .
Cutleaf blackberry produces numerous adventitious root suckers, even
in the absence of disturbance . These root suckers are presumably
capable of producing new primocanes as the connection to the parent
plant is eliminated. Cutleaf blackberry also spreads rapidly as
aboveground vegetation roots at the nodes . Cutleaf blackberry
typically sprouts vigorously following disturbance.
Seed: Most blackberries produce good seed crops nearly every year .
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 .
Immature fruit of the cutleaf blackberry is a dull red . Ripe
berries are shiny black, and made up of relatively few large drupelets
[4,31,32]. Cleaned cutleaf blackberry seed averages approximately
137,000 per pound (301,762/kg) . Apomixis is particularly common in
the cutleaf blackberry .
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 . 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 . Evidence suggests that avian digestive
processes can also help scarify the seed of blackberries . Results
of specific germination tests of blackberry seed are as follows :
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
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 . 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
cutleaf blackberry at depths of 0 to 2 inches (0-5 cm) in coastal
Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests of British Columbia .
Seed dispersal: Seed of cutleaf blackberry is primarily animal
dispersed . After they mature, the highly sought-after fruits rarely
remain on the plants for long .
Cutleaf blackberry grows in a wide range of sites throughout much of
North America. It is most commonly naturalized on waste ground or
disturbed areas . Cutleaf blackberry has escaped from
cultivated gardens in many areas .
Soils: Blackberries grow well on a variety of barren, infertile soils
. These shrubs tolerate a wide range of soil texture and pH but
require adequate soil moisture for good growth .
Elevation: Cutleaf blackberry grows from sea level along the Pacific
Coast to higher elevations farther inland. Cutleaf blackberry has
been reported at 5,600 feet (1,707 m) in Colorado .
Cutleaf 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 . Cutleaf
blackberry is also abundant in old field communities and on disturbed
sites in the Northeast.
Seasonal development of the cutleaf 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:
Cutleaf 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. Cutleaf blackberry can root from the nodes of aboveground stems
, and rapid spread is likely where portions of the stem remain
Cutleaf blackberry is described as a seedbanking species which can
readily reoccupy disturbed sites through seed stored on-site . Seed
can apparently remain viable for long periods of time when stored in the
soil or duff  and germinate in large numbers after fire. The large,
sweet, succulent fruit of blackberries amply "reward" animal dispersers
, and postfire establishment of some cutleaf blackberry seed from
off-site is probable .
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 cutleaf blackberry plants may be top-killed, actual mortality
appears to be uncommon due to the prolific sprouting ability of this
Most cutleaf blackberry seeds stored on-site in the soil or duff are
probably unharmed by fire.
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 cutleaf blackberry is known
to produce adventitious root suckers  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 , even in the absence
of disturbance. Rapid spread is probable where portions of the
aboveground stem remain undamaged by fire.
Postfire recovery: The cutleaf blackberry quickly assumes prominence
on many types of burned or disturbed sites  and is often well
represented on waste ground . 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 cutleaf blackberry . Some seed may also be
transported from off-site by birds or mammals .
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Wildlife: Species which consume large amounts of blackberries are often
benefited by fire .
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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