Status: Declared Noxious Weed (Regionally Controlled), Weed of National Significance.
Threat: High threat environmental and agricultural weed.
Description: An erect woody shrub with scrambling and prickly stems (canes) forming dense impenetrable thickets. Reproduces from seed, root suckers and layering at root tips.
Flowers: White to pink flowers with five petals that form in clusters at the end of branches. Flowers from October to February, varies with seasonal conditions.
Fruit: December to March. Initially hard green cluster of berry segments turning to red then black on ripening. Each berry segment contains a seed.
Leaves: Oval, dark green on the upper side and lighter underneath with fine hairs. Leaflets 3–5cm long, edges slightly serrated with row of thorns along midrib. Leaves are often shed in winter.
Stems: Erect or sprawling canes up to 7 metres long. Green to reddish purple and covered in curved or straight thorns. Can actively spread through the rooting of cane tips.
Note: Highly variable in form with up to 15 species recorded. Invades natural watercourses and harbours feral animals, especially foxes and rabbits. May provide critical habitat to small native birds and animals, so may require staged removal. Fruit readily eaten and dispersed by birds and mammals (e.g. foxes).
Similar indigenous species: Could be confused with Native Raspberry (Rubus parvifolius).
Control measures: Hand weeding, cut and paint with suitable herbicide, mowing/slashing, spot spraying, re-vegetation.
Dispersal: Birds, animals, machinery, vegetative.