Bush Lawyer

Particularly nasty and tenacious native vine that literally hangs around in our bush waiting to catch hold of the unwary walker. Rubus species (blackberry relative). The first four photos are from a walk we did in Black Gully Reserve near Tapanui on Sunday afternoon (23 May). West Otago, New Zealand.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Bush Lawyer – avoid it or you’ll pay the price.

Here we have native beech trees (evergreen), a native lancewood tree in the centre (odd-looking thing with long strappy leaves), and a bush lawyer vine along the bottom of the photo and on the RHS.

Detail of bush lawyer. In getting these pics to show you, I got snagged in three different places on my jacket. When you get snagged you have to stay totally still and then very carefully unhook yourself from the back-bent barbs. They’re as sharp as can be. If careless in disentangling yourself you risk damage to clothing (or if it’s got you by the skin, well, you have to be ultra-careful to avoid bloody streaks on your skin).

Here’s a good backlit pic that clearly shows the little nasties.

You can see how dense they get. You avoid them, you don’t push through.

It’s the trailing ends with thin stems that are likely to trap the unwary. They’re plenty prickly but not necessarily very visible, like if they’re hanging out from the foliage of a straggly small tree or shrub.

Here’s another example of bush lawyer that I photographed in The Catlins with my cellphone in Nov 2018.

It’s a plant you don’t mess with!

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2018-2021)

10 thoughts on “Bush Lawyer

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  1. Those are some wicked thorns, with the backlighting, they actually look bloody. Sounds like a real trial & tribulation getting released from them. I see Steve G. mentioned the rosa multiflora, an invasive, that’s a similar curse in the woods around the Great Lakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really intrigued by the red look when they’re backlit! Large patches of land in Central Otago are infested with dense wild roses (only 1.5 hr drive from where we live).


  2. There are a few spots I visit for wildflowers that are thickets of Rosa multiflora. A rose by this name is not so sweet and will leave a lot of long bloody scratches if one isn’t cautious. Yours looks just as nasty. We have a few blackberries that are a thorn in our side on the property too but they can’t compare to your lawyer. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yikes. Those thorns look really nasty. I had torn up several pairs of pant trying to push my way through thorny vines that did not look anywhere near as vicious as these ones. I was curious about the origin of the name “bush lawyer” and came across this explanation that may or may not be accurate–“The colloquial English name is often said to have been given because once this thorny plant becomes attached to you it will not let you go until it has drawn blood.” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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