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Pacific Blackberry
Rubus ursinus
About Pacific Blackberry (Rubus ursinus) Nurseries Show All Photos Pacific Blackberry is a species in the Rosaceae (Rose) family that is native to a large part of western North America from Baja to Canada and from the coast to the Rocky Mountains. This is a wide, spreading shrub or vine-bearing bush with prickly branches, white flowers and edible fruits. This species is one of the original parents of the hybrids Loganberry and Boysenberry. Pacific Blackberry typically does not set fruit until the second year after planting, and it is typically dioeocious so that only the female plants produce fruit. The sweet-tart fruits are dark purple to black and up to 2 centimeters in length. They can be eaten raw, baked in pie or cobbler, or frozen. Seed size seems to be related to fruit "cell" size, and the smallest (1 centimeter) fully formed berries are most highly prized. The plant is a vigorous spreader that needs cool temperatures and high amounts of moisture to set large fruit. For this reason fruit production and flavor is generally inferior in the southernmost part of it range. Growing Pacific Blackberry requires some thought and care because its numerous prickles can make harvesting the fruits, weeding, pruning and other maintenance activities unpleasant.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Vine

Max. Height
2 - 6 ft (0.6 - 1.8 m)

Max. Width
6 ft (1.8 m)

Upright, Spreading

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist places such as stream banks, canyons, often as part of woodland understory

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
-22' - 7419'

Annual Precip. ?
6.7" - 155.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 5.92"

Coldest Month ?
32.6° F - 56.6° F

Hottest Month ?
52.9° F - 81.0° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 29.14 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
5.0 - 8.0

Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Best used away from foot traffic in locations where its numerous prickles will not be problematic. Use under trees such as Pines (Pinus sp.), Firs (Abies sp.), Oaks (Quercus sp.), Madrone (Arbutus sp.), Cottonwoods (Populus sp.), and Willows (Salix sp.), and with shrubs such as Dogwood (Cornus sp.), wild Roses (Rosa sp.), and Currant/Gooseberry (Ribes sp.).

Wildlife Attracted
Pacific Blackberry is attractive to a wide ranges of wildlife, from butterflies to bears.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Use caution - very prickly. Prune during winter dormancy to shape and control spread.

Propagation ?
From stem cuttings (canes).

Common uses
Groundcovers, Hedges, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Blackberry

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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