Scientific name: Rubus armeniacus
- Order: Rosales
- Family: Rosaceae
- Genus: Rubus
- Species: R. armeniacus
The Himalayan blackberry, a native of Europe, is part of the Rosaceae, or rose, family. A hardy shrub with sturdy stems that are lined with prickles, the Himalayan blackberry is also known as Armenian blackberry (the species name is Rubus ‘armeniacus‘!) and is a type of bramble — a thorny shrub. The Himalayan blackberry likely came to North America around 1885 and is now abundant in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., such as in the Oregon mountains where we were camping this summer.
APPEARANCE AND EDIBILITY
The flowers have five white or pale-pink petals. Ripe berries are black, while unripe ones are red. Himalayan berries are edible, like those of all other blackberry shrubs.
In the past, the species name has been incorrectly called Rubus procerus or Rubus discolor. Now, however, botanists accept the name Rubus armeniacus. The Himalayan blackberry is considered invasive in some places. From what we saw while camping in Oregon, the blackberry shrub was clearly an aggressive-growing plant; it could be found all over the mountain.