Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wild Berries in the Puget Sound (Thimbleberry, Blackberry, and Blackcap Raspberry)

This is a continuation on my posts on wild berries.

Red Huckleberries and Salmonberries - Mostly redundant of first post, but some additional info.

to come Oregon Grape, Indian Plum, Salal, more blackberries, wild rose and poisonous berries.


These are my new favorite berry.  They are kind of tart, but I think they taste so good.  If I am out running and spot some I will stop to gobble them up.  These red berries are kind of fuzzy and are very squishy.  Sometimes they fall apart when you pick them.  They start off as white and get red when they are ripe.  The plant has big kind of furry maple looking leaves.  There are no thorns and most of the plants I've seen are about 4' to 5' tall.   Each plant doesn't have a lot of berries and they are kind of hard to put in a bucket because they mush each other so I think this is one you pretty much just eat right off the bush.

Blackcap Raspberry

So far I've only come across one of these bushes.  In the top picture the raspberries aren't ripe yet.  (I ate all the ripe ones earlier in the day when I was out running.)  In the second picture the one on bottom right is ripe.  The bush has small prickles on it.  The berries go from green to plum (like in the picture) to black when ripe.  The couple berries I ate were pretty sweet.  These ripen from July to August.  You can tell they aren't blackberries because the globules are smaller and not as fragile and when you pick the berry the center receptacle stays on the stem. 


In Western Washington blackberries are everywhere.  What you may not know is that most of the blackberries you see are an invasive species and are not native.  But the trailing blackberry, seen above, is native.  It grows low to the ground (not in a gigantic bush) or climbs over fallen logs.  Some say that this is the best tasting of the three types of wild blackberries.  This blackberry isn't quite as prickly and the berries start ripening in mid July.  I'll do the other two species of blackberry in a few weeks when they get ripe.

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