Rubus spectabilis, the salmonberry, is a species of bramble in the rose family Rosaceae, native to the west coast of North America from west central Alaska to California, inland as far as Idaho.
Rubus spectabilis is a shrub growing to 1–4 m (3–13 ft) tall, with perennial (not biennial) woody stems that are covered with fine prickles. The leaves are trifoliate (with three leaflets), 7–22 cm (3–8+1⁄2 in) long, the terminal leaflet larger than the two side leaflets. The leaf margins are toothed. The flowers are 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1+1⁄4 in) in diameter, with five pinkish-purple petals; they are produced from early spring to early summer. The berries ripen from early May to late July in most of the Pacific Northwest (later in cooler climates), and resemble large shiny yellow to orange-red blackberries 1.5–2 cm (1⁄2–3⁄4 in) long with many drupelets. These are eaten by many birds and other animals.
Salmonberries are found in moist forests and stream margins, especially in the coastal areas. In open areas they often form large thickets, and thrive in the open spaces under stands of red alder (Alnus rubra).
Cultivation and uses
Salmonberries are edible and share the fruit structure of the raspberry, with the fruit pulling away from its receptacle. The fruit has been referred to as "insipid", but depending on ripeness and site, they are good eaten raw – whether red or golden – and when processed into jam, candy, jelly and wine. Native American people and early explorers also ate the young shoots. Traditionally, the berries were eaten with salmon or mixed with oolichan grease or salmon roe. They were not dried because of their high moisture content.
It is widely grown as an ornamental plant for its flowers, with a double-flowered clone identified in Washington and British Columbia. R. spectabilis has escaped cultivation and become naturalized in parts of northwestern Europe, including Great Britain, Ireland and the Faroe Islands.
Mature fruit in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
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- Mulligan, Brian O. (1963). Accession records of the University of Washington Arboretum
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- Inland Fisheries Ireland. "Risk Assessment of Rubus spectabilis" (PDF). nonnativespecies.ie. National Biodiversity Data Centre. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rubus spectabilis.|
- Czech Botany, Rubus spectabilis Pursh – ostružiník / ostružina in Czech with color photos of flowers, fruits, and leaves
- Plants for a Future
- US National Forest Service, Index of Species Information
- University of Washington plant data sheet
- "Rubus spectabilis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 2009-06-30.