Southern Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Tropical China, and
Himalayan raspberry is a
stout evergreen shrub with prickly stems about 12 feet long. Its thick leaves
are about 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide, divided into three roughly
equal "finglers" with toothed leaf margins and inch-long leaf stalks that
are densely covered with prickles. The flowers of yellow Himalayan raspberry
are white and occur in short, terminal panicles. The fruit is yellow, edible
and highly sought after.
Where it becomes established,
yellow Himalayan raspberry forms impenetrable thickets, threatening native
lowland wet forests and displacing native Hawaiian plant species, including
a native Hawaiian raspberry (Rubus hawaiiensis).
IN THE UNITED STATES
In Hawaii, yellow Himalayan raspberry invades
wet forest habitats at elevations between about 2000 and 5000 feet that
have been disturbed by feral pigs.
HABITAT IN THE UNITED STATES
Himalayan raspberry is usually found in moist to wet forests. This species
is well adapted to the full sun of open canopy forests and pastures as well
as the deep shade of rain forests.
Yellow Himalayan raspberry
was introduced to Hawaii for its edible fruit around 1960. It is widely grown
as an ornamental in tropical climates.
BIOLOGY & SPREAD
Himalayan raspberry spreads rapidly by root suckers and regenerates from
underground shoots after fire or cutting. Its seeds are dispersed by fruit-eating
birds and mammals.
If cleared by physical
means, the roots of yellow Himalayan raspberry must be grubbed out and burned.
Alternatively, cut stumps may be treated with systemic herbicides such as
glyphosate that kill the plant from the roots.
USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS.
NOTICE: MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.
SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE PLANTS
to the invasive yellow Himalayan raspberry is the native Hawaiian raspberry
(Rubus hawaiiensis), which produces an exceptionally large, edible
fruit and is free of thorns or prickles. This native raspberry was once common
in the moist forests of Hawaii and its fruit was frequently collected by
local people. Many other native plants are available for use in ecosystem
Nancy Benton, The Nature Conservancy, Arlington,
Forest & Kim Starr, US Geological Survey,
Cronk, Q.C.B. and Fuller, J. 1995. Plant Invaders:
The Threat to Natural Ecosystems. Chapman & Hall: London. World Wide
Fund for Nature.
Merlin, M.D. 1976. Hawaiian Forest Plants. The
Oriental Publishing Company, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Stone, C.P., C.W. Smith, and J.T. Tunison (eds.).
1992. Alien Plant Invasions in Native Ecosystems of Hawaii. Cooperative National
Park Resources Study Unit. University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Swearingen, J. 2009. WeedUS Database of Plants Invading Natural Areas in the United States: Yellow Himalayan (Rubus ellipticus). http://www.invasive.org/weedus/subject.html?sub=14094.
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group.