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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Rubus ursinus

Trailing Blackberry

Flowering Period: Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug April May June July August
Flower color: white
Full sun Mostly sunny Partial sun Mostly shady
Moist soil Dry soil


At a Glance: Trailing prickly vine producing small blackberries in late summer.

Height: 20 inches (50 cm).
Growth Form: Shrub or vine.
Stems: Stems prostrate, trailing up to 5 meters long, armed with curved, unflattened prickles; floral canes erect; stems covered in fine waxy powder; blue-green in color.
Leaves: Alternate, with 3 elliptical leaflets, terminal leaflet is 3 lobed, all leaves toothed and pointy; size: leaflets 3-7 cm long; color: dark green above, pale green below.
Flowers: Flowers grow in flat topped clusters from the leaf axils; male and female flowers are on different plants; primary color: white or pale pink; size: 4 cm.
Flowering Period: April, May, June, July, August.
Fruits: Small blackberries 1-1.5 cm long.

Rubus ursinus
Photo © Heidi Bohan
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

wet
moist
dry

Wetland Indicator Status:
FACU (facultative upland)
low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
(data not available)

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites

Wildlife Value
Berries
Seeds
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover

Mammals: Fruits great for small mammals because they are close to the ground. Bears and deer also seek them out.


Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Material Uses: Leaves and roots treated diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, excessive menstruation, fevers, hemorrhoids, and mouth sores. They also were added to bitter medicines to sweeten them. Vines were used for scrubbing. Berries would make a purple stain.
Food Uses: The Coast Salish made a tea with the dried leaves. Berries widely used as food. Vines were placed under and over food in steaming pits by the Saanich


Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.