It has hairy, long, slender ribbed leaves that form 1 or more rosettes from which emerge long, slender flowering stems carrying dense, brown, cylindrical seed heads that often have white anthers sticking out of them from October to March or in July. Has a long Taproot.
As A Soil Indicator:
Very low Calcium, High Phosphorous, Very high Potassium, High Manganese, Very high Magnesium, High Iron, High Sulfate, High Copper, High Boron, High Chlorine, High Selenium, Very little organic matter.
Annual, biennial or perennial. Germination occurs mainly in the autumn and winter. More abundant in the higher rainfall areas.
Palatable fodder while other fodder is limited, Insectary, Nectary, May eat young leaves as a spinach.
Host for some plant diseases. Host plant for light brown apple moth
May cause hay fever. May have a mild laxative effect
A many branched annual to perennial shrub or small tree to 3 metres tall with stalked, large leaves with 5-9 finger like lobes and softly spiny capsules. It has yellow male flowers below the reddish female flowers from spring to autumn.
As A Soil Indicator:
Low Calcium, Very low Potassium, Very high phosphate, Very high Magnesium, High Manganese, High Iron, High Sodium, High Copper, Very little organic matter.
Annual biennial or perennial. Germinates from autumn to spring and grows quickly. They may reach a height of several metres in their first year. Flowers from August-March depending on the area. Seed may be set in the first year. Growth slows or the plants die in winter. Surviving plants commence rapid growth in spring. It behaves as an annual in frosty areas.
Castor oil extracted from the seeds for a lubricant and hydraulic fluids because its viscosity is stable as temperature increases.
Seeds contain ricin and are poisonous to stock and poultry and humans. Seeds are very toxic to humans and 6-8 seeds may cause death.
Seeds produce an allergic reaction in skin. Cases of poisoning in the field are rare. Horses are most sensitive followed by sheep, cattle and pigs and poultry are the least sensitive. Seeds and oil can be made safe by heating to 500C or more.
Blackberry is a semi deciduous, perennial shrub with scrambling, arching, prickly stems (canes) that may form dense, tangled thickets to 4 m high. The stems take root where they touch the ground, often forming dense thickets. The broad leaves are 3-15 cm long and divided into 3-5 toothed leaflets.
As A Soil Indicator:
Very low Calcium, Low Potassium, High phosphate, High Magnesium, High Manganese, High Iron, Very little organic matter. More abundant on fertile soils
Perennial. Flowers November to January. Fruits January to April. Seeds germinate from spring to autumn and grow very slowly in the first year usually reaching 50-70 mm height with 3-6 leaves but have a disproportionately large root system. After 3 or 4 years, they develop into a shrub about 1000 mm round. In winter they loose most of their leaves and grow very slowly. In spring and summer they produce new leaves and canes quickly. First year canes emerge, in late winter, from the central crown that may be up to 200 mm round. The first year canes grow very quickly at 50-80 mm per day.
Blackberries are picked for food, preserves, jam, pies, wine, liqueurs. Leaves are used as a tea substitute. Canes are used for securing thatch. Fruit is rich in vitamin C. Pollen and honey are produced from it.
It has been used as a hedge plant and for controlling stream bank erosion.
Provide a refuge from feral cats for native birds.
Used in herbal medicine for coughs, diarrhea and blood cleansing..
Invades pasture land and blocks creeks and rivers. Reduces access to amenity areas and streams. Form impenetrable thickets that harbours vermin such as foxes and rabbits. Old infestations can be a serious fire hazard due to the large number of old dead canes. Sheep can become entangled in the canes and die. Very few companion plants survive in the thickets. It delays or prevents regeneration of forests after thinning or cutting.