River Partners' mission is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.


Riparian Plants: California Blackberry - Rubus ursinus

Return to riparian plant list or the Ecological Tolerances of Riparian Plants page.

Native California blackberry can be found low on floodplains in mixed riparian forests. They are good competitors under shade, and grow best in moist forests. The roots must have access to the water table. They occupy lower positions on the floodplain and can tolerate extended periods of flooding if the top of the plant can remain above water. Blackberry cannot recover from extended periods of drought.

Blackberry grows as a vine that can send shoots up several meters to climb trees, shrubs, or spread over fallen debris. It can also form thickets about a meter tall that can occupy vast expanses. This dense cover low on the ground forms excellent hiding places for wildlife and also good nesting substrate for ground nesting birds. Additionally, blackberry is an excellent source of food for wildlife providing pollen, nectar and fruit, and attracting a suite of insects that are eaten by other wildlife.

For more information about the ecological tolerances and structure of riparian plants, see Gaines 1977, Conard and others 1977, Holstein 1984, Sacchi and Price 1988, Faber and Holland 1996, Cooper and others 1999, Vaghti 2003, Fremier and Talley 2009, and Vaghti and others 2009.

California Rose dimensions

California Blackberry

Large patch of California Blackberry

Large patch of California Blackberry