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Weed Identification




Scientific Name

Rubus spp.
Primary photograph of weed


Erect, prostrate, or climbing perennials with prickly stems and red or black berries.


Stems: Erect to eventually arching and climbing on other vegetation or also running prostrate along the ground. All species have prickles along the stem, some are more densely covered with prickles than others. Roots: Rhizomes, root sprouts, a fibrous root system, and some stems are capable of forming roots where they come into contact with the ground. Leaves: Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, occur on petioles, and are divided into 3 to 7 leaflets. Each leaflet has toothed margins.

Identifying Characteristics

Members of the brambles include the raspberries, blackberries, dewberries, etc. Brambles are primarily weeds of fence rows, roadsides, landscapes, and occasionally pastures and hay fields. The leaves that are divided into 3 to 7 leaflets, distinctive berries, and rhizomes are all characteristics that help to identify members of the Rubus genus. Many different brambles are common in Virginia, perhaps the most common are the blackberries, raspberries, and the dewberries.

Flower Seed Head

Usually consist of 5 green, hairy sepals and 5 white or pinkish petals

Seed Fruit

Many drupelets that compose a berry which we commonly refer to as the fruit. Berries are usually either red or dark purple to black in color when mature and very juicy.

Where Found

Several different species occur in Virginia and throughout the southeastern United States.

Life Cycle


Plant Type