Bristly Blackberry Rubus squarrosus

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
leafless lawyer


Rubus squarrosus, commonly known as the square-stemmed bramble, has a distinct appearance characterized by its squarish stems which have a rough texture. The plant sports thorns that assist in its grip and climbing ability. Its leaves are typically green with a compound structure, usually comprised of several leaflets that present serrated edges. During its blooming period, the square-stemmed bramble showcases small white or pale pink flowers, which consist of five petals and numerous stamens in the center, giving it a delicate and ornate look. These blooms eventually give way to fruit, often resembling raspberries or blackberries, which change from green to red and eventually to a deep purple or black as they ripen. The plant's overall structure contributes a bristling, somewhat unkempt appearance that can provide cover for wildlife and add a rugged aesthetic to its natural habitat.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Bristly Blackberry, Square-stemmed Blackberry, Square-stemmed Bramble, Roughfruit Blackberry.

    • Common names

      Rubus squarrosus

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      There is no widely known toxicity of the bristleberry (Rubus squarrosus) to humans, and it is not commonly recognized as a poisonous plant. As with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities can occur, so if a person were to eat a part of the bristleberry and exhibit allergic reactions or gastrointestinal distress, they should seek medical attention.

    • To pets

      Similar to humans, there is no well-documented toxicity of the bristleberry (Rubus squarrosus) to pets. It is not generally considered a poisonous plant for domestic animals. However, pets may have individual sensitivities or allergies, and ingestion could potentially cause mild stomach upset. If a pet shows signs of distress after consuming any part of the plant, contact a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 feet (1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      6 feet (1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Erosion control - Rubus squarrosus, commonly known as leafy-bracted blackberry, has a deep and extensive root system that can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
    • Wildlife habitat - It provides shelter and protection for various wildlife species, including birds and small mammals.
    • Food source for animals - The berries of the leafy-bracted blackberry can serve as a food source for birds and mammals.
    • Edible fruit - Although not a primary food source for humans, the berries can be eaten raw or used in recipes for jams, pies, and other dishes.
    • Ornamental use - With its brambly growth and potential for producing attractive flowers and fruit, it can be used for ornamental purposes in gardens and natural landscaping.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Rubus squarrosus, commonly known as bristly blackberry, can be used in natural dye production; its berries produce a rich purple or dark blue dye ideal for textiles.
    • The dense thorny thickets of bristly blackberry provide shelter for small animals and birds, offering protection from predators.
    • Its hardy nature allows it to be used in controlling erosion on slopes or riverbanks, as its root system helps to stabilize the soil.
    • Bristly blackberry's flowers can serve as a decorative element in wildflower gardens, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
    • The stems of bristly blackberry, once dried and treated, can be woven into rustic crafts and baskets by artisans.
    • When pruned and trained, it can act as a natural fence or barrier due to its thorny branches deterring animals and unauthorized entry.
    • The leaves, when crushed, can be used to repel certain insects, functioning as a natural insecticidal spray when steeped in water.
    • It can be used in permaculture designs as part of a food forest or edible landscape, contributing to sustainable land use systems.
    • The young shoots of bristly blackberry can be harvested and consumed as a wild foraged vegetable, though they must be collected with care to avoid thorns.
    • In landscape photography and painting, bristly blackberry thickets can offer visually striking natural patterns and textures as artistic subjects.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Rubus squarrosus, also known as bramble, is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The bramble is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Tenacity: As a bramble plant, Rubus squarrosus, commonly known as the leafybristle blackberry, is known for its ability to thrive in a variety of conditions and can represent the perseverance to overcome obstacles.
    • Invasive Growth: Leafybristle blackberry can grow invasively in some regions, symbolizing unchecked expansion or the need for boundaries in one's life.
    • Protection: The thorns on the leafybristle blackberry can serve as a natural defense mechanism, representing the need for personal space or self-defense.
    • Adaptability: This plant's ability to adapt to various environments can symbolize flexibility and the capacity to adjust to new situations with ease.
    • Nourishment: The fruit of the leafybristle blackberry, like that of other Rubus species, is edible, symbolizing sustenance, abundance, and the gifts of nature.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Bristly Dewberry needs to be watered regularly to maintain consistently moist soil, particularly during its active growing season in the spring and summer. Aim to water deeply once or twice a week, providing about 1-2 gallons per bush each time, depending on the size of the plant and the weather conditions. Reduce watering frequency in the fall and winter when the plant is dormant, but do not allow the soil to completely dry out. Always check the moisture level of the soil before watering to avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Bristly Dewberry thrives best in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot for this plant is in an area where it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, although it can tolerate some shade, especially in the hotter parts of the day. Avoid deep shade, as this can diminish fruit production and lead to leggy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Bristly Dewberry is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from a minimum of around 20 degrees Fahrenheit to a maximum of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for optimum growth is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant is suitable for USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8, reflecting its adaptability to different temperature conditions.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Bristly Dewberry is crucial for maintaining plant health and encouraging fruit production. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Remove dead, damaged, or diseased canes, and thin the plants to prevent overcrowding. This helps with air circulation and allows more light to reach the center of the plant, decreasing the risk of fungal diseases. Prune canes that have fruited immediately after the harvest because Bristly Dewberry fruits on new growth.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Bristly Blackberry (Rubus squarrosus), the best soil mix is well-draining, rich in organic matter, with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. A blend of loamy garden soil, peat moss, and sand or perlite in equal parts is ideal to provide the necessary drainage and nutrient content for this plant.

  • plantRepotting

    Bristly Blackberry (Rubus squarrosus) generally does not need frequent repotting and can be done every 2-3 years. It is best to repot during the dormant season to minimize stress on the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Bristly Blackberry (Rubus squarrosus) prefers moderate to high humidity levels, ideally around 60-80% for optimal growth. Maintaining this level of humidity can be critical for the health of the plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, avoid direct sun, ensure high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to partial shade with moist, fertile soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rubus squarrosus, commonly known as the bristly blackberry, begins its life cycle as a seed, typically germinating in the spring when soil temperatures become favorable. After germination, the seedling emerges and begins to develop leaves in a rosette pattern, focusing on root and foliage growth throughout the first year. In its second year, the bristly blackberry produces canes from the rootstock; these canes, or primocanes, transition to floricanes that bear flowers. Following pollination, typically by insects, the flowers develop into fruit by late summer or early fall—a characteristic aggregate of drupelets that blackberries are known for. After fruiting, the biennial canes die, but the plant continues to produce new primocanes annually for future fruit production. The bristly blackberry can also propagate vegetatively through root suckers and tip layering, spreading and continuing its life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating the plant commonly known as Bristly Blackberry, Rubus squarrosus, is through its cuttings. This tends to take place during late winter to early spring before the plant has begun its active growth. Hardwood cuttings, which are sections of the stem that have hardened from the previous season's growth, are taken from the healthy, mature canes of the mother plant. These cuttings, typically 6 to 10 inches long (15 to 25 centimeters), are planted in a well-draining growing medium and kept at a constant moisture level to encourage root development. It's important to place them in a location with indirect light and to minimize disturbance as the roots form. Successful rooting may take several weeks, after which the new plants can be gradually hardened off and eventually transplanted to their final growing location.