Himalayan blackberry is an invasive shrub in the Pacific Northwest. Originally from the Himalayan Mountains in India, it was brought to England for its delicious berries. From England, it was then brought over to the United States during the early European settlement years. Like many invasive plants, moderate weather and a lack of natural predators allow it to thrive in our region.
Himalayan blackberry has thick, angled stems with big, curved prickles on it. The compound leaves are large, grow in bunches of 5 leaflets, and almost always stay on the plant through the winter. Lastly, the leaves are darker on top than the bottom.
To remove, cut stems to 1 foot above ground, and then dig down until you find a lumped or knotted root. This is the rhizome, and it will regrow the blackberry unless completely removed from the ground. Big plants can have a rhizome the size of a sweet potato, while on smaller plants it can be the size of a bean.After removing, you can dispose of it in your yard waste cart.
Don't confuse Himalayan blackberry (five distinct leaflets - top) with native Salmonberry (lighter green, three distinct leaflets - below).
Himalayan Blackberry in North Creek Forest
Himalayan blackberry has been removed from many of our restoration sites and requires regular maintenance to control.
There is a patch located on the topside of this year’s restoration site, to the right of the information board.
It has finished flowering and is currently developing berries. They can be picked when they are squishy, but not falling apart.
Although Himalayan blackberry is invasive, we are leaving behind a patch for the neighborhood to forage, and for the bees to pollinate! This patch will need active management to keep from spreading and choking out native plants.