Invasive bramble alert!

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

The bramble species Rubus armeniacus has recently been brought to our attention by dedicated botanist Alex Prendergast, who is based at our East Anglia office.

“The plant appears to be pretty invasive (it came from Armenia via cultivation in USA and UK gardens as ‘Theodore Reimers’ or ‘Himalayan Giant’), swamping native vegetation, and other brambles in particular”, says Alex, who frequently finds it and worries it is surreptitiously creeping into every corner of the countryside. “Despite its distinctive features it may be overlooked as just our wild bramble, Rubus fruticosa“, he adds.

Alex sets out the key features for others to identify this bruiser of a plant:

• Huge. Bushes to 8-10 feet tall forming extensive patches
• Leaves large too (to 20-30cm across), digitate, white and furry beneath
• Primocanes (non-flowering stems) deeply furrowed, almost hairless
• Flowers pink in large inflorescence      • Fruit large and tasty Armenian bramble web

Alex is asking colleagues to find out how far this invasive plant has spread and to record your sightings here: http://www.nbis.org.uk/BrambleInvasive

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