Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Coastal BC Plants: Salmonberry

S is for Salmonberry

Salmonberry buds ready to burst forth.
There are signs everywhere when spring arrives. On a quad ride we found beautiful bright pink (sometimes purple) salmonberry flowers just starting to open.

Soon they will bloom and the green leaves will emerge. Later they will have ripe orange-red berries to nourish humans and animals alike.

A lone salmonberry bush next to a creek.
Salmonberry plants (Rubus spectabilis) make a rambling bush up to four feet tall. They can make a huge wall of brambles if the conditions are right. This one on a rock riverbank is a standalone. They have small thorns, especially towards the bottom of the branches.


A ripening salmonberry.
The sawtooth edged leaves come in sets of three. The fruits come in yellow, salmon and dark red raspberry-like berries. You will find them in coastal regions from California to Alaska. First Nation people used the roots, leaves and berries for medicinal purposes and as a food source.

The berries are juicy, but sometimes bland in flavour. But that doesn't matter to the forest dwellers.

A ripe Salmonberry ready for eating.

As an early flowering and fruiting plant, it's a favourite with birds and animals. Hummingbirds are attracted to the brilliant flowers, small animals enjoy the tender leaves, and of course the bears love the ripe fruit after a long winter's nap.

I remember picking and eating Salmonberries as a child on camping trips with my parents. Those would have been California Salmonberries. Now I get to enjoy their British Columbian relatives. Do you have any fond Salmonberry memories?

For ABC pictures from around the world, stop by the ABC Wednesday blog. This is the twenty-first round of the meme originally established by Denise Nesbitt. It has now being maintained by Melody and her team.

A new meme is All Seasons. Stop by and take a look. -- Margy

17 comments:

  1. Never seen one, what do they taste like?
    ann

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    1. I'm going to have to find some this summer and try them again. I don't remember them as really flavourful, but when you are a kid anything picked by your own hands tasted amazing. - Margy

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  2. I've seen plenty around here but never tasted them. I think indegenous people used them a lot for dyes too

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    1. I was just in Ucluelet and they had large areas of them growing along the road out to the lighthouse. Reminded me of how large our blackberry brambles get. - Margy

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  3. Pretty blooms and berries ~ neat photos!

    Happy Week to you,
    C & Z

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    1. Going to spend some time watching softball games in their wonderful spring weather. - Margy

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  4. Nice shots. I wonder if I ever saw or tasted a salmonberry thinking it was some other kind of berry. Quite possible. Their flowers and fruit are pretty.

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    1. The flowers are among the4 first in the spring. Love to see them. - Margy

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  5. Oh wow how beautiful they seem… never heard of them, can't remember ever having seen it...
    although the Dutch name for it doesn't sound strange at all

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)
    http://melodymusic.nl/22-S

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    1. They are a coastal plant here in North America. - Margy

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  6. I can't believe I have never heard of salmonberries before!

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    1. I learned about them as a kid camping with my parents. - Margy

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  7. Very onteresting, can’t say I’ve tasted them.

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    1. It's been a long time for me. I'm going to try and find some ripe ones this summer. - Margy

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  8. I don't know salmonberries at at. Now, salmon, I love!

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    1. Me too, but it is so expensive in the store and we are terrible fishermen. - Margy

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  9. I like salmonberries. The seeds are rather big but the berry is juicy and refreshing. I also like the new shoots which should start growing as the blossoming finishes. Snap them off like asparagus when they are a few inches long, peel off the spiny skin, and eat them raw like celery.

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