Common Name: Blackberry
Rubus leightonii is a semi-deciduous shrub, producing each year a cluster of arching, prickly stems from a woody rootstock; the plant can grow up to 2 metres tall if supported by other vegetation, but is generally lower - the stems arching outwards and forming new roots where their tips touch the ground. The stems only produce leaves, and do not flower, in their first year of growth, forming flowering branches in their second year and then dying after fruiting. The plant can form large thickets of growth in the wild.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes cultivated for the fruit.
Originally introduced into Australia for its edible fruit, the plant has escaped from cultivation and is now a serious weed of agriculture, forestry and the environment in New South Wales[
Europe - Britain, northern France.
Grasslands and forests, even in fairly dense shade of pine forests[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A black, globose fruit[
Most, if not all, thicket-forming species of Rubus have good erosion control value. They usually grow satisfactorily on barren and infertile soils and invade and occupy eroded areas. They also establish quickly on burns, old fields, and logged areas. Forming extensive and nearly impenetrable thickets, they can provide excellent cover for wildlife as well as nesting sites for small birds. They are often natural pioneer species, paving the way for woodlands to develop, but they should only really be used within their native range in order to avoid any risks of them invading other habitats[
Seed - requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn.
Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn[