15 responses to “Rubus spectabilis”

  1. arlee

    I eat ’em all!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Michael Wall

    Thank you Tamara for this fun and informative article. I encountered the yellow form of this plant backpacking on Mount Rainier last summer and was curious about the yellow berries. Being from Southern California I will have to wait for a salmonberry pie experience which I am certain is heavenly. Love this website and all the varied contributions.

  3. Jen Schneller

    I find this post fascinating for a number of reasons. I am from the eastern part of the United States, where red raspberries, black raspberries and blackberries are common (though they won’t be in season yet for a couple of months), but I have never heard of this other cousin in the Rubus genus! This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed the variation in a genus across the continent though (stellar’s jays and blue jays, eastern and western arborvitae, etc). I would assume what causes it is the same geographic isolation that was noted as far back as Darwin’s finches. So, are yellow and red salmonberries found on the same plant? It sounds like they are not. In black raspberries, the difference in color definitely denotes a difference in ripeness, but on the same plant. Also, are salmonberries under cultivation anywhere? I would love to try some jam! There are yellow red raspberries, but they are horticultural hybrids, I think ( though they may be selections), and thus produced as cloned cultivars. I am not sure how they interbreed with the red ones. And now I am wondering about the different cultural conditions between salmonberries and their eastern cousins too…
    Thanks for a very thought provoking post!

  4. Mei Beh

    Yummmm! Thanks for the info.

  5. Doug

    This one caught my eye because it was a red and yellow. How common is that?

  6. Tamara Bonnemaison

    Jen asks if the red and yellow berries are found on the same plant. They are not. Each plant is either red, or yellow.
    And, nice photo, Doug. I think it is showing a yellow berry; many of them are red-tinged. Although the BPotD photo shows very clear yellow and red, I find many of the yellow berries are a touch orange or ‘salmon’, while many of the reds tend towards purple.

  7. Susan Gustavson

    You made the right choice in my opinion because I’ve found that the red ones tend to have a slight bitter taste that I haven’t noticed in the yellow ones as often. They’re both on the bland side compared to thimbleberries, but juicy and refreshing to eat while hiking.

  8. Ron B

    I’ve never noticed that the patches consist of separate red and yellow fruited plants, had thought all this time the yellow fruits became red before shriveling.

  9. Melissa in South Carolina

    Oh my! Wonderful memories of Sitka, AK and snarfing salmonberries while out tromping. Tasty and juicy in a fruit salad – if they ever make it to the kitchen. So different from berries in Eastern North America. Love the photos and the info.

  10. Barbara Blackie

    Love the information, thank you! I have been curious about this color morph for awhile but hadn’t actually stopped to realize that the color is organized by PLANT! Very cool!
    I did want to say that I think the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area is in Washington State, not Washington, B.C. As much as some of us would like our state to defect to Canada, I don’t think we’ll get away with it! ;0)

  11. Denis

    Very fascinating discussion of the concept polymorphism. I have quite a few salmon berries growing in the area by the stream that cuts through my property in Oregon. The soil here must favor the yellow variant, as I always thought of them as having yellow berries. Also, the person holding them must have small hands, as these appear much larger than I am used to seeing them. I may have to go collecting to try the recipe. I’ve eaten the here and there, but never really considered them a must have, as they are generally not all that sweet. The invasive Armenian blackberry, on the other hand, is very sweet. I will stand by plucking berries and popping them into my mouth while cursing their prickly ubiquity on my property.

  12. Tamara Bonnemaison

    Ha! Nice catch, Barbara. I’ve changed it to say Washington, U.S.A.

  13. bill barnes

    Rubus parviflous a close cousin to the above has orange berries and is native to the Central and Southern Rockies . Being in the native plant seed business it was a favorite to eat and then spit the seeds out for sale later on . One thing though , we were in competition with the bears and when the berries are ripe , bears are not user friendly. Don’t know about bears and Salmon berries in the PNW but something not to be taken lightly.

  14. zahra

    did you know that if you eat a green one its ok because i had one its fine no stomachache at all

  15. Alain Marchildon

    I ate tons of salmon berries in Alaska this summer. We were hiking up a canyon in Valdez.

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