E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rubus ursinus Cham. & Schltdl.
California blackberry (Dwarf Red Raspberry; Pacific trailing blackberry; Salmonberry; trailing blackberry)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Vince Poulin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24833)

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Distribution of Rubus ursinus
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Rubus ursinus ssp. macropetalus

Species Information

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Trailing shrub, 2-5 m or more long; stems barely woody, 2-10 mm in diameter, arching, sprawling and trailing along the ground, some rooting at the tip, with slender, straight to slightly recurved prickles, somewhat hairy when young becoming smooth and glaucous; flowering branches ascending, to 50 cm tall.
Alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound, 5-15 cm long; leaflets 3 (rarely 5), narrowly to broadly egg-shaped, 3-10 cm long, coarsely double-saw-toothed, green and smooth or nearly so on both surfaces, the terminal leaflet largest and often deeply 3-lobed to divided, the leaf-stalks and midveins beneath fine-prickly; stipules linear, 8-11 mm long.
Inflorescence of few stalked flowers in small, open, flat-topped terminal clusters, the stalks often purplish stalked-glandular; male and female flowers on separate plants; corollas white, the petals 5, spreading, elliptic and 8-11 mm long in female flowers, lanceolate and 12-17 mm long in male flowers; calyces woolly and usually stalked-glandular, sometimes fine-prickly, 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, spreading to bent back, 7-11 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens 75 to 100.
Drupelets, generally smooth, coherent in a black oblong to nearly globe-shaped cluster that falls with the fleshy receptacle (a blackberry), the berries 1-1.5 cm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Black
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist thickets, clearings, waste places and open forests in the lowland to lower montane zones; common in SW BC; S to ID and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Rubus ursinus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 235 960
Slope Gradient (%) 0 18 135
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
13 209 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(1), CDF(281), CWH(753), IDF(12), SBS(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American deciduous shrub distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in maritime to submaritime cool mesothermal climates on moderately dry to fresh. nitrogen-medium soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Common but scattered in forest understories on disturbed, water-shedding sites. often plentiful in disturbed and early seral communities on cutover-and/or burnt sites. Usually associated with Anaphalis margaritacea, Epilobium angustifolium. Gaultheria shallon. Kindbergia oregana, Mahonia nervosa, and Pteridium aquilinum. Characteristic of young-seral mesothermal forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)

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