Common name: Blackberry
Rubus leucostachys Schleich. ex Sm. APNI*
Description: Spreading, sometimes arching, semi-deciduous shrub to 3 m high but generally less unless growing through other vegetation. Forms dense thickets. Primocane stems angled with faces not furrowed, with tufted hairs forming a relatively dense covering and sometimes with glandular hairs, prickles to 10 mm long, mainly on angles, rooting at apex. Floricane similar to primocane.
Primocane leaves consisting of 3 or 5 leaflets (sometimes some joined); lower surface of mature mid primocane leaflets varying from no felting to densely felted with few to abundant pilose hairs, terminal leaflet usually largest, mostly 4–9.5 cm long and 3–7.5 cm wide, petiole 2.5–9 cm long. Floricane leaves consisting of 3 or 5 leaflets (sometimes some joined) or with 1 or 2 leaflet leaves towards and amongst inflorescence, lower surface of mid floricane leaflets similar to lower surface of mid primocane leaflets, lower surface of lower floricane leaflets may be less hairy, terminal leaflet mostly 3–10 cm long and 1.5–8.5 cm wide, petiole 1.5–7 cm long.
Inflorescence a narrow pyramidical terminal panicle of flowers. Sepals mostly without prickles. Petals 11–19 mm long, 7.5–16 mm wide, obovate, pink or white, usually crumpled. Stamens longer than styles.
Fruit ± globose, initially green, ripening red, maturing black.
Flowering: mainly late spring and summer.
Distribution and occurrence: only known from wetter areas of southern New South Wales. Native of Britain.
Found in grasslands to forests. Locally abundant in southern New South Wales. Often found growing with Rubus anglocandicans, sometimes in the same clump.
NSW subdivisions: *CT, *ST
Introduced for its edible fruit but now a serious weed of agriculture, forestry and the environment. This species is part of the Rubus fruticosus L. species aggregate. It is an extremely variable species as currently circumscribed but in most cases petals are crumpled.
Text by John Hosking, June 2009
Taxon concept: Evans et al., Australian Systematic Botany 20: 187-251 (2007)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.