You are here

Rubus phoenicolasius

Biological Category 
Species Type 
Shrub or woody bush
NY Invasiveness Rank 
Very High
LHPrism Status 
Tier 4 - Widespread
Key Characteristics 
All stems are covered with fine reddish hairs and thin sharp thorns. May be green in spring
Begins as orange in color and ripens to a bright ruby red in late July. The fruit is typically surrounded by the same fine reddish hairs as found on the stems and the fruit feels a little "sticky" when picked.
Compound leaf with three leaflets with a white, fuzzy underside and toothed margin. The terminal leaflet is larger than side leaflets.

Vertical Tabs


Wineberry is a member of the Rose family (Rosaceae). It is a deciduous shrub producing upright to arching thorny canes that can grow up to 9 feet in length and are covered in distinctive red glandular hairs. The shrub is most easily identifiable in mid-July, when fruiting occurs in the Hudson Valley. At this time, the canes are covered with the species' highly visible raspberry-like fruits. Wineberry fruits look like a cultivated raspberry, but are a very bright, shiny red, and subtended by a protective calyx covered in red glandular hairs. The leaves of wineberry look like a typical raspberry leaf: compound, with 3 serrated leaflets (unlike the 5 seen in native blackberries). Each leaflet is densely white-hairy underneath and has purple veins. Flowers are greenish-white, arranged in terminal clusters, and held on stalks covered in red glandular hairs. The flowers generally appear in late spring to early summer in the Lower Hudson PRISM region.

Introduction History 
Native to China, wineberry was introduced in 1890 as root stock for cultivated raspberries. The qualities that made it a durable, reliable fruit producer in the garden are precisely what make it such a tenacious invasive. The species is now extant in at least 21 states. (2)
Ecology and Habitat 
Wineberry invades a variety of habitats in the Hudson Valley region; however, it is most commonly seen in areas associated with plantings and anthropogenic disturbance such as roadsides and forest edges. The species has been reported on cliff faces and rocky summits, wetlands and on a variety of different soil types in varying light levels.(4) The species does not germinate as well in deep shade, and leaf litter depth appears to be negatively correlated with germination and seedling survival. (6)
Reproduction and Phenology 
Although wineberry commonly reproduces clonally via cane rooting and layering, a single individual is capable of producing thousands of viable seeds each year, forming a highly persistent seed bank. Little research has been done on wineberry’s seed bank specifically, but related species produce seeds that can last for 100 years. Additionally, wineberry is self-fertile, making it more likely to reproduce and establish in the absence of pollinators, unlike many of its native congeners. (3) Vectors include birds, small mammals, humans and reptiles. (5)
Impacts of this species 

A quick growing shrub belonging to the rose family, wineberry is a prolific fruit producer and is dispersed long distances by mammals and birds. The species spreads locally very quickly forming dense, monotypic thickets via vegetative growth, outcompeting other native plants. Due to wineberry’s characteristic of simultaneous fruit ripening, frugivorous wildlife appear to favor this invasive over other native Rubus species, contributing to the exclusion or decline of these natives on the landscape.(3)

Management Methods 

Biological Control
There is currently no single optimal biological control agent in use against this species. 

Manual or Mechanical Control
Pulling / Digging Up: Pulling by hand is an effective method of control for seedlings and small plants. For larger plants, disturbance of the root will encourage re-sprouting (7)

Mowing: Mowing and cutting stimulates increased sprouting. (3) However, some evidence exists that two or three cuttings a year for at least two years will exhaust the species’ carbohydrate supply, leading to eradication. (7)

Girdling: Not applicable

Prescribed Fire: Fire will top kill the species and re-sprouting will occur. (3)

Prescribed Grazing: Not applicable (3)

Soil Tilling: Not advisable. Tilling will fragment roots and encourage re-sprouting. 

Mulching: Not applicable

Solarization: Not applicable

Hot Foam Spray: Not applicable

Chemical Control
The pesticide application rates and usage herein are recommendations based on research and interviews with land managers.  When considering the use of pesticides, it is your responsibility to fully understand the laws, regulations and best practices required to apply pesticides in a responsible manner.  At times, the pest you seek to treat may not be on a pesticide label, requiring a 2ee exemption from NYSDEC.  Always thoroughly read the label of any pesticide and consult the NYSDEC or a licensed pesticide applicator with questions.

Foliar Spray: A 1-2% solution of glyphosate is effective at managing small plants or shoots of wineberry, although repeat applications may be necessary. Infestations managed in this way should be revisited in 2-3 weeks to monitor for regrowth. Always read and follow all instructions on the herbicide label. (8)

Cut Stump: Although somewhat tedious due to small stem diameter, wineberry can be cut and the stems painted with a 20% glyphosate solution in the fall for effective control. 

Basal Bark: No information available


Stem Injection: Not applicable

Pre-Emergent Spray: Not applicable

Summary of Best Managment Practices 

General management overview and recommendation
As with any other invasive infestation complex, large thickets of wineberry are best managed via a combination of mechanical and chemical means.  Small seedlings can be hand pulled or sprayed while larger shrubs must be sprayed to attain good control. If canes are too long and rangy to spray, mowing or weed whacking to encourage re-sprouting will produce more surface area for a subsequent foliar spray. All managed infestations should be monitored to ensure exhaustion of the seed bank and to prevent reinvasion from nearby populations. Any new seedlings or sprouts can be hand pulled or sprayed. 

Post treatment monitoring
Any infestations managed by chemical means must be revisited in 2-3 weeks to check for treatment efficacy. Infestations managed solely by mechanical or physical means will need consistent follow up treatment to manage root suckers and sprouts. Due to the species long-lived seed bank, managed infestations should be intentionally revegetated and monitored for future seedling emergence.

Disposal Methods
Waste material can be burned, chipped or composted so long as management was completed prior to seed set. Any fruit must be bagged and disposed of. All roots must be thoroughly dried and or crushed.