Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Rubus parviflorus
(thimbleberry)

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Datasheet

Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Rubus parviflorus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • thimbleberry
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • R. parviflorus, commonly known as thimbleberry, is a deciduous, perennial shrub with small, red, edible fruits which prefers moist and open sites. It is native to North America, where it is widespread in the We...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); flowering habit. The simple palmately lobed and veined leaves are characteristic of this species.  nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
TitleHabit
CaptionRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); flowering habit. The simple palmately lobed and veined leaves are characteristic of this species. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2012/Bozeman; Montana; USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); flowering habit. The simple palmately lobed and veined leaves are characteristic of this species.  nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
HabitRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); flowering habit. The simple palmately lobed and veined leaves are characteristic of this species. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.©Prof Matt Lavin-2012/Bozeman; Montana; USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); habit. Consistent with other species of Rubus, R. parviflorus has a strong predilection for disturbance-prone settings, such as forest edges and roadsides. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
TitleHabit
CaptionRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); habit. Consistent with other species of Rubus, R. parviflorus has a strong predilection for disturbance-prone settings, such as forest edges and roadsides. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2012/Bozeman; Montana; USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); habit. Consistent with other species of Rubus, R. parviflorus has a strong predilection for disturbance-prone settings, such as forest edges and roadsides. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
HabitRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); habit. Consistent with other species of Rubus, R. parviflorus has a strong predilection for disturbance-prone settings, such as forest edges and roadsides. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.©Prof Matt Lavin-2012/Bozeman; Montana; USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); close-up of flower. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
TitleFlower
CaptionRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); close-up of flower. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
Copyright©Prof Matt Lavin-2012/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); close-up of flower. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.
FlowerRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); close-up of flower. nr Bozeman, Montana, USA. July, 2012.©Prof Matt Lavin-2012/Bozeman, Montana, USA - CC BY-SA 2.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripening fruits. Helsinki University Botanical Garden, Kumpula, Finland. July, 2010.
TitleFruiting habit
CaptionRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripening fruits. Helsinki University Botanical Garden, Kumpula, Finland. July, 2010.
Copyright©Anneli Salo-2010/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripening fruits. Helsinki University Botanical Garden, Kumpula, Finland. July, 2010.
Fruiting habitRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripening fruits. Helsinki University Botanical Garden, Kumpula, Finland. July, 2010.©Anneli Salo-2010/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripe and ripening fruits. ca. 1-1.5cm in diameter. Mount Pilchuck State Park, nr Granite Falls, Washington State, USA. September, 2008.
TitleFruiting habit
CaptionRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripe and ripening fruits. ca. 1-1.5cm in diameter. Mount Pilchuck State Park, nr Granite Falls, Washington State, USA. September, 2008.
Copyright©Walter Siegmund-2008/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripe and ripening fruits. ca. 1-1.5cm in diameter. Mount Pilchuck State Park, nr Granite Falls, Washington State, USA. September, 2008.
Fruiting habitRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripe and ripening fruits. ca. 1-1.5cm in diameter. Mount Pilchuck State Park, nr Granite Falls, Washington State, USA. September, 2008.©Walter Siegmund-2008/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripe fruit. Saddle Mountain State Park, nr Seaside, Oregon, USA. September, 2011.
TitleRipe fruit
CaptionRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripe fruit. Saddle Mountain State Park, nr Seaside, Oregon, USA. September, 2011.
Copyright©Walter Siegmund-2011/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripe fruit. Saddle Mountain State Park, nr Seaside, Oregon, USA. September, 2011.
Ripe fruitRubus parviflorus (thimbleberry); ripe fruit. Saddle Mountain State Park, nr Seaside, Oregon, USA. September, 2011.©Walter Siegmund-2011/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Rubus parviflorus Nutt.

Preferred Common Name

  • thimbleberry

Other Scientific Names

  • Bossekia nutkana Greene
  • Bossekia parviflora (Nutt.) Greene
  • Rubaker parviflorum (Nutt.) Rydb.
  • Rubus natkanus G.Don (speling variant)
  • Rubus nutkanus Mo‡. ex Ser.
  • Rubus velutinus Hook. and Arn.

International Common Names

  • English: western thimbleberry

Local Common Names

  • Australia: native raspberry
  • Czech Republic: ostružník nutkajský
  • Estonia: väikselehine vaarikas
  • Germany: Himbeere, Nutka-; Nutka-Himbeere
  • Korea, Republic of: meongseogttalgi
  • Latvia: Nutkas avene
  • Sweden: nutkahallon
  • USA: Australian raspberry; Japanese bramble

EPPO code

  • RUBPA (Rubus parviflorus)

Summary of Invasiveness

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R. parviflorus, commonly known as thimbleberry, is a deciduous, perennial shrub with small, red, edible fruits which prefers moist and open sites. It is native to North America, where it is widespread in the West, and in Canada where it rapidly invades disturbed areas. Its introduced range includes parts of Europe, where it is cultivated and has become naturalized and invasive in some cases, and also Australia. R. parviflorus forms an extensive underground rhizome system from which it vigorously sprouts. There is concern that, by forming dense monocultures, R. parviflorus outcompetes regenerating conifers of economic value after clearcutting. 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Rosales
  •                         Family: Rosaceae
  •                             Genus: Rubus
  •                                 Species: Rubus parviflorus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Rubus parviflorus Nutt., belonging to the Rosaceae family, is widespread across its native range in North America. The most used common name is thimbleberry or western thimbleberry.
 
Although belonging to the complex and often confusing Rubus genus, it is a well-accepted species with relatively little taxonomic confusion. Some minor confusion exists, for example R. cuneifolius has been mistakenly reported as a synonym of R. parviflorus when in fact it is a synonym of R. parvifolius, a separate species (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015). This same confusion has translated to common names as well, where for example, it has been confused for Australian raspberry (common name for R. parvifolius).
 

Description

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R. parviflorus is extremely variable, particularly in terms of pubescence and glandularity.
 
It is an erect, multibranched, leafy deciduous shrub ranging from 0.5-3 m in height (Gucker, 2012). Typically biennial stems are thornless and range from 2-15 mm in diameter. Leaves are simple, 12-20 cm long and palmately 3-5 or 3-7 lobed. The lobes are triangular, cordate, twice dentate-serrate and slightly covered with soft hairs on both surfaces, sometimes densely covered beneath. It flowers in terminal inflorescences of long peduncled cymes of 3-11 white flowers. Flowers are large, often 4-5 cm across. Sepals broadly ovate and 15 mm long, and petals are ovate, usually 5 and 15-30 mm long. Stamens and carpels are numerous, ovaries pubescent, style glabrous and club-shaped. The fruit, usually developing on the second year stems, are red, 1.5-2 cm wide and hemispheric. These are aggregates of many small pubescent, red drupelets (Oleskevich et al., 1996).
 

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Shrub
Woody

Distribution

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Across North America, R. parviflorus is found as far north as Alaska and as far south as Northern Mexico, and from the West Coast of the United States to the Great Lakes region in the East (USDA-NRCS, 2015). It is widely and continuously spread across Western States but this is not the case in the East. Similarly, in Canada, it is widely distributed in the West and more narrowly distributed in the East. In its most northern ranges, R. parviflorus only occurs in coastal regions but is found at altitude further south. 
 
The species is also found in parts of Europe, including Scandinavia, the UK and parts of Western and Central Europe, albeit scattered (DAISIE, 2015). It has also been reported to be present, although with few isolated records, in Australia (Council of the Heads of the Australasian Herbaria, 2015).

 

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlbertaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-British ColumbiaPresentNative Invasive Haeussler and Coates, 1986; USDA-ARS, 2015
-OntarioPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
MexicoPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2015Chihuahua
USAPresent Natural
-AlaskaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-ArizonaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-CaliforniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-ColoradoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-IdahoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-MichiganPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-MinnesotaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-MontanaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-NevadaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-New MexicoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-OregonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-South DakotaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-UtahPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-WashingtonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-WisconsinPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-WyomingPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015

Europe

Czech RepublicPresentIntroduced Invasive Pysek et al., 2002Naturalised
DenmarkPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015
FinlandPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015
IrelandPresentIntroduced Not invasive DAISIE, 2015
LatviaPresentIntroduced Invasive DAISIE, 2015
NorwayPresentIntroduced Not invasive DAISIE, 2015
SwedenPresentIntroducedafter 1950 Invasive Tyler et al., 2015
UKPresentIntroduced Invasive DAISIE, 2015Unknown degree of establishment in England and Scotland
UkrainePresentIntroduced Invasive DAISIE, 2015

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-TasmaniaPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-Western AustraliaPresent, few occurrencesIntroducedWestern Australian Herbarium, 2015

History of Introduction and Spread

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R. parviflorus was first recorded in North America in 1818. However, preserved leaf impressions in Northern California suggest that it was present in the closed-pine forest during the Pleistocene Epoch. Migration from Canada to the Great Lakes region during a post glacial period may be responsible for its present distribution across North America. More recently, logging and land clearing has increased its abundance and distribution (Gucker, 2012).
 
It was introduced for cultivation in the UK in 1818 and recorded in the wild in 1913 (Biological Records Centre, 2015). It has been reported that it was introduced to Sweden after 1950 (Tyler et al., 2015). There is scant information regarding introductions elsewhere.
 

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
UK North America 1818 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes Biological Records Centre (2015)

Risk of Introduction

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R. parviflorus is mainly recognised as problematic in Canada. There appears to be relatively little concern about the species elsewhere in the world which may increase the risk of introduction to new locations, particularly into areas where it is valued as an ornamental, such as in Europe. R. parviflorus is available and modestly promoted for non-commercial cultivation in the UK (Plants for a Future, 2015) and in North America (Rook, 2015).

Habitat

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R. parviflorus is found in a range of habitats but prefers moist and open sites. It is found in shrublands, riparian zones, and deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests. It is most commonly found in riparian areas and along forest margins and is abundant in disturbed areas. The species does not tolerate waterlogging and is more often found in well-drained lower floodplains or upper floodplains (Gucker, 2012).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Natural
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural
Riverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Freshwater
Rivers / streams Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Throughout the Pacific Northwest of the USA and Canada, R. parviflorus has been reported to limit or slow conifer regeneration after clearcutting (Haeussler and Coates, 1986; Gucker, 2012). This occurs under conditions that support the formation of dense R. parviflorus thickets which are thought to outcompete seedlings for light, moisture and nutrients. 
 
LePage and Coates (1994) found that lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta var. latifolia Dougl. ex Loud. [Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm.], and a hybrid spruce, Picea glauca (Moench) Voss × Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carrière., growth continually improved as the level of cover of R. parviflorus was reduced, and suggest a threshold of 5% cover, below which the growth of these tree species is not limited.
 
When conditions do not support the formation of R. parviflorus monocultures, it has been reported that it provides shade and alleviates heat and moisture stress and thus supporting conifer regeneration (Gucker, 2012). 
 

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Biology and Ecology

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Genetics
 
The chromosome number of R. parviflorus is reported as 2n=14 (Taylor and MacBryde, 1977).
 
R. parviflorus may hybridise with other species within the Rubus genus such as R. odoratus, R. laciniatus and R. idaeeus (Gucker, 2012).
 
Reproductive Biology
 
R. parviflorus reproduces both vegetatively and by seed. Vegetative reproduction is probably the most dominant method once the species is established. However, reproduction by seed is thought to be the species principle means of establishing at new sites. 
 
Vegetative reproduction is primarily based on its extensive rhizome system from which it is capable of vigorous sprouting (Oleskevich et al., 1996). It is this method of asexual reproduction via rhizomes which is largely responsible for the formation of dense thickets and large clones (Gucker, 2012). R. parviflorus can also be propagated through rhizome fragments or cuttings (Haeussler and Coates, 1986). Rhizomes have been reported to sprout after fire. 
 
R. parviflorus is a prolific seed producer every year, although it has been reported that the amount of seed produced decreases at higher elevations (Haeussler and Coates, 1986). In a dense mixed-conifer forest in northern Idaho, USA, 84 thimbleberry seeds per m2 were found in soil samples collected from undisturbed sites where R. parviflorus cover averaged 1% (Morgan and Neuenschwander, 1988). Seeds have been reported to remain viable for long periods of time and the species is referred to as a ‘seedbanker’ (Haeussler and Coates, 1986). However, Gucker (2012) suggests that this has not been verified. In fact, field studies have reported that viability decreases sharply after the first year and more moderately after the second and third. An experiment conducted on the germination of seeds collected from British Columbia, Canada, showed that mineral soil was superior to forest floor as a germination substrate, and that germination rates of R. parviflorus seeds decreased with depth of burial (McGee and Feller, 1993).
 
Physiology and Phenology
 
The phenological information reported here refers to that found in North America. In terms of vegetative growth, buds have been reported active in early spring (February), followed by bud burst and leaf flush in April/May, full leaf expansion from May to late August and senescence and leaf drop until late October (Maxwell et al., 1993). Flowering and fruiting dates can vary and have been reported to typically occur in June/July and August/September, respectively (Gucker, 2012). However, Oleskevich et al. (1996) report that fruiting can occur as early as June/July in the south and July/August in the north and at higher elevations. A long-term study in northern Idaho and Montana, USA, reported earliest flowers in May and latest flowers in August and earliest ripe fruits at the end of June and latest ripe fruits at the beginning of September. The same study reported the earliest date for fruit drop to be mid-July (Gucker, 2012).
 
Population Size and Structure
 
R. parviflorus has been reported to occur in dense, almost pure patches as well as scattered individuals (Gucker, 2012). Open and disturbed sites such as clearcut forests and riparian zones are conducive to dense patches. Oleskevich et al. (1996) refer to two stages of growth at new sites: an initial building phase (first one to two years) followed by a growth and establishment phase. Initially, populations usually begin with seed germination and rapid increases in stem numbers and building of seed banks. Populations become dominated by stems and ramets and subsequently extensive rhizomal growth can allow a population to spread up to 50 m2 from the parent plant resulting in canopy closure. Population growth is limited by density, shade from overstory growth and competition from other species (Maxwell et al., 1993).
 
Associations
 
Gucker (2012) provides an extensive account of common plant associates that vary between regions in the USA.
 
In Alaska, USA, the species has been reported to have ‘low’ importance for terrestrial birds suggesting that it provides 5-10% of diet and is infrequently used as cover (USDA-NRCS, 2015). However, others have reported greater importance for both birds as well as small and large mammals. For example, USA-NPN (2015) report that it is valuable to song and game birds and is the larval host for the yellow-banded sphinx moth (Proserpinus flavofasciata). Rook (2015) report that black bears, coyote, chipmunks, raccoons, red foxes, grey foxes, red squirrels and skunks eat the fruit. This author also reports that it provides cover for rabbits, red squirrels, black bears and beavers and that the dense thickets provide nesting sites and fruits for many small birds.
 
Environmental Requirements
 
R. parviflorus tolerates a wide range of conditions in terms of altitude, climate and site and soil conditions. It is found from zero to 3200 m above sea level. In Arizona, USA, it was found as high as 3200 m above sea level while the highest reported occurrence in Canada was 1200 m above sea level in the interior of British Columbia (Gucker, 2012). 
 
R. parviflorus favours moist sites and is most limited by cold winters, short growing seasons and moisture stress during summer months (Haeussler et al., 1990). It is found on a variety of soils but preferring nutrient rich and well drained and aerated soils (Gucker, 2012). It has been reported as an indicator of nitrogen rich soils in Canada. The species is most vigorous under partially open or open conditions. It was reported to achieve greatest cover in Oregon at 60-100% of full light (Haeussler et al., 1990).
 

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Tolerated Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Tolerated Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
30-60 0 3200

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -3
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 7 14
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 22 28
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 0 10

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration5number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall6002000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Apple mosaic virus Pathogen Leaves
Hypholoma fasciculare Pathogen Roots
Neonectria radicicola Pathogen Roots
Peronospora sparsa Pathogen Roots
Raspberry bushy dwarf virus Pathogen Leaves
Resinicium bicolor Pathogen Roots
Thimbleberry ringspot virus Pathogen Leaves

Notes on Natural Enemies

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In southern British Columbia, Canada, Wall and Shamoun (1990) examined R. parviflorus for disease and reported a number of fungi. Discosia sp. and Seimatosporium sp. were associated with leaf spots and Cylindrocarpon destructans [Neonectria radicicola], Naematoloma fasciculare [Hypholoma fasciculare], Resinicium bicolor and Verticillium sp. were associated with root rots. In Canada, R. parviflorus is host to thimbleberry ringspot, apple mosaic and raspberry dwarf viruses (Brunt et al., 2015; Oleskevich et al., 1996). 

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal
 
R. parviflorus is a prolific seed producer, as evidenced by seed numbers being greater than 75 per m2 with 60% constancy (McGee and Feller, 1993). The seeds fall directly below the plant, resulting in short-distance dispersal (Haeussler et al., 1990). Rhizomal growth is responsible for much of the spread of the species.
 
Vector Transmission 
 
Birds and mammals are responsible for wider dispersal of the seeds through feeding on the fruit (Haeussler et al., 1990). Burrowing animals have also been reported responsible for seed dispersal.
 
Intentional Introduction
 
Historically, R. parviflorus has been introduced to Europe and Australia from North America for cultivation and today it is available commercially in both Europe and North America.
 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
DisturbanceRapidly invades disturbed areas Yes Oleskevich et al., 1996
ForestryInvades disturbed areas such as clear cut forest sites Yes Oleskevich et al., 1996
HorticultureFirst introductions for horticulture purposes Yes Biological Records Centre, 2015

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Soil, sand and gravelSeeds, root fragments Yes Haeussler et al., 1990
WindSeeds Yes Haeussler et al., 1990

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Economic Impact

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R. parviflorus is a significant pest species in British Columbia, Canada, due to its competition with conifer species. Haeussler et al. (1990) report that it causes greater and more rapid mortality of young conifer seedlings than any other brush species. However, it is also noted that light or moderate cover of the berry may provide beneficial shade and reduce heat and moisture stress of establishing conifer species.
 
R. parviflorus is valued for its genetic diversity for breeding (Finn et al., 2015). It has been identified as a genetic source of resistance for root rot in red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) (Daubeny et al., 1992). It is also cultivated and valued as an ornamental and for its fruit.
 

Environmental Impact

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In its native range, R. parviflorus is an important forest ecosystem species, playing a role in nutrient cycling and conservation, soil stabilisation and reducing invasion of other species (Oleskevich et al., 1996). 
 
Gucker (2012) suggests that it shows potential for revegetation and rehabilitation, citing one study from northwestern Montana, USA, where 73% of rootstock survived four years after planting on a roadside cutting (Hungerford, 1984). A study from Washington, USA, reported that it may be a useful species for revegetation of exposed sediments and to reduce increased growth of invasive species (Michel et al., 2011).
 

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Gregarious
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Negatively impacts forestry
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Social Benefit
 
The fruits of R. parviflorus are edible and said to be excellent for making jelly. Young shoots can be eaten and the leaves can be used to make teas (Rook, 2015). Moreover, indigenous people of North America have long used the species as food and for medicinal purposes (Gucker, 2012). Its leaves, berries and roots are reported to help with stomach ache, diarrhoea, hematemesis, haemoptysis, metroxenia, for wounds and to minimise scarring and swelling (Duke, 2015; Plants for a Future, 2015). The berries are reported to have been eaten both fresh and dried and preserved in cakes for later use. Both the berries and shoots are high in Vitamin C (Norton, 1981). 
 

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Soil conservation
  • Wildlife habitat

General

  • Sociocultural value

Genetic importance

  • Gene source

Human food and beverage

  • Fruits
  • Leaves (for beverage)
  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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The tall, erect and thornless stems of R. parviflorus and its large, simple leaves distinguish it easily from most other Rubus species.
 
Growth habit and foliage are similar to Rubus odoratus but the two species can be distinguished by the different coloured flowers: R. parviflorus has white flowers and R. odoratus has rose-purple flowers (Oleskevich et al., 1996). 

 

Prevention and Control

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Control
 
Physical/mechanical control
 
Physical and mechanical control has rarely been reported effective. Manual cutting is reported ineffective as cutting stimulates rapid re-sprouting, even resulting in an increase in total leaf area (Haeussler et al., 1990). When soil is disturbed and roots fragmented, the stem density of R. parviflorus increases (Oleskevich et al., 1996). Similarly, when fire only destroys the top growth of the plant, recovery is generally rapid. The species survives fire through re-sprouting of rhizomes and seeds stored in the soil. Therefore, severe fires, where heat reaches the roots and rhizomes, can delay recovery of the species. However, this remains contested based on various conflicting studies in North America (Gucker, 2012).
 
Some success with the combination of seeding and scarifying has been reported. In British Columbia, Canada, R. parviflorus establishment was diminished when a recently scarified site was seeded with legumes, bunchgrasses and sod-forming grasses. Application of fertilizer and a grass/legume seed mixture to a burnt site also reduced the growth of R. parviflorus (Oleskevich et al., 1996).
 
Biological control
 
Biological control of R. parviflorus has not yet been realised, however, several studies report that this is a potentially fruitful pathway to follow. The Canadian Forestry Service-Pacific Forestry Centre has secured a US patent for control of weedy Rubus spp. with the pathogen Fusariam avenaceum [Gibberella avenacea]. A couple of studies have explored the potential of this biological control for R. parviflorus under greenhouse conditions (Shamoun, 2000; Oleskevich et al., 1998). Oleskevich et al. (1998) reported that foliar infection increased significantly when F. avenaceum was applied with a surfactant. Shamoun (2000) found that a formulation of F. avenaceum combined with a surfactant resulted in extensive foliar necrosis 24-48 hours after application. However, within three weeks new foliage and stems were free of damage. Shamoun and Sieber (2000) isolated and identified endophytic mycobiota colonising healthy leaves and twigs of R. parviflorus on Vancouver Island, Canada, with the long-term goal of using endophytes as biological control agents.
 
Chemical control
 
Several herbicides have been effectively applied to R. parviflorus in the Pacific Northwest region of Canada and the USA. These include glyphosate, sulfometuron, picloram and 2, 4-D and triclopyr. Hexazinone has generally been reported ineffective and only causes light damage to R. parviflorus (Haeussler et al., 1990). Timing of application is an important variable impacting efficacy. However, although effective top-kill is often reported, regrowth is also reported after one to three seasons.
 
Results from 2, 4-D applications have been moderate, suggesting only light cover reduction (Haeussler et al., 1990). However, in combination with picloram, good control was reported (Oleskevich et al., 1996). 
 

References

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

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03/08/2015 Original text by:

Florin Madeleine, Consultant, Netherlands

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