Illustrated Guide to
of New Zealand
Weeds of New Zealand
by Ian Popay, Paul Champion & Trevor James
ISBN 0 473 09760 5
by kind permission of the
Zealand Plant Protection Society
Publication or other use of images or descriptive
text on these pages is unauthorised unless written permission is
obtained from the authors and publisher.
of the publication Common Weeds of New Zealand must always
Available from Touchwood
prickly, scrambling, woody perennial shrub up to 2 m or more tall,
bearing large white or pink flowers followed by black berries. Extremely
variable in leaf shape and plant form.
White to pink, 2-3 cm in diameter, with five petals and numerous
stamens, in many-flowered clusters. Flowers Nov-Apr.
Aggregated berries 10-15 mm long, red at first, turning black
when ripe, made up of twenty to fifty two-seeded drupelets. Seeds
widely spread by birds.
Compound, three to five, oval, toothed leaflets arranged palmately.
Stalks and mid-ribs prickly.
Up to 8 m long, arching, entangling, woody, armed with savage
backward pointing thorns. Stems rooting at tips to form new plants.
New stems grow from the base each year.
Stout, branched, creeping underground roots.
Reverting land, scrub,
road-sides, hedgerows, swamps and waste places.
Common to locally abundant
throughout NZ including Stewart and Chatham Islands. Originally
from temperate northern hemisphere regions.
Very common nuisance
weed. Can become a major weed of pastures in some areas, like
Wairoa. A preferred food for goats, which control it effectively,
but need to be confined with it. Otherwise, control can be difficult.
Seedlings are very slow growing, and can be controlled by moderate
grazing pressure. The species is extremely variable and has sometimes
been divided into many species and very many varieties. One of
the more distinctive, sometimes distinguished as a separate species,
is cut-leaved blackberry (Rubus laciniatus). All blackberries
are subject to Pest Plant Management Strategies in several regions
of NZ. Details are available from individual regional councils
or unitary authorities.
Other species of Rubus
include the native bush lawyers (Rubus australis, Rubus
cissoides and Rubus schmidelioides), with long,
semi-woody stems, sprawling or climbing in native forest and bush
margins. They have backward-pointing spines that often hinder
the progress of humans or animals through the bush.
of botanical name
= bramble; fruticosus (Lat.) = bushy.