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Wineberry leaves

Wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius)

Perennial shrub with arching stems up to 9’ in length. Purple-red hairs cover the entire plant (canes, petioles, sepals) and are interspersed with small prickles. Wineberry spreads vegetatively by rooting when canes touch the ground and from root buds.


Regulated areas of wineberry
Wineberry is Prohibited in red areas.

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Japanese wineberry, wine raspberry

Ecological threat:

  • Found along forest edges, fields, open woods, and riparian areas such as streams, and wetlands.
  • Out-competes native vegetation by shading them out and rapid growth.

Classification in Wisconsin: Prohibited

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for wineberry was based upon this literature review developed by the department.


Leaves: Alternate leaves are tri-lobed with leaflets being spade-heart shaped. Edges of leaves are serrated while the underside of leaves are white in appearance due wooly white hairs.

Flowers: Small, green flowers with white petals and small reddish hairs occur in spring.

Fruits & seeds: Fruit is enclosed in a membrane until ripe and the sepals open revealing the orange-red raspberry type fruit.

Roots: Fibrous.

Similar species: Native blackberries and raspberries look very similar. The undersides of the leaves are generally green and sometimes a grayish-white color. Also, most do not have purplish-red hairs on the branches, petioles, or sepals. On the few that do have glandular hairs present, they are not longer than the thorns. Berries are black or red.


Known county distribution of wineberry
Counties in WI where wineberry has been reported (as of July 2011). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Currently, there have not been reports of wineberry in WI. Have you seen it? Send us a report.


Mechanical: In small areas, plants can be hand-pull or dug out. Mowing or cutting the stem followed by chemical treatment can also be effective.

Chemical: Foliar spray resprouts with triclopyr or metsulfuron-methyl; cut stump with glyphosate or triclopyr in the fall.


View wineberry pictures in our photo gallery!


Sources for content:

  • Sarver, M.J., A. Treher, L. Wilson, R. Naczi, and F.B. Kuehn, 2008. Mistaken Identity? Invasive Plants and their Native Look-alikes: an Identification Guide for the Mid-Atlantic. Dove, DE: Delaware Department of Agriculture and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Pg 20-21.
  • Swearingen, J., K. Reshetiloff, B. Slattery, and S. Zwicker. 2002. Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas [exit DNR]. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 82 pp.

Links for More Information

Last revised: Monday December 11 2017