Salmonberry

Salmonberry - Rubus spectabilis

Salmonberry - Rubis spectabilis

Edible plant - novice

Other common names: Joffelberry

Season - Summer

Scientific name meaning: Rubus is from the Latin Rubra, meaning red. Spectabilis is also Latin and means remarkable, in relation to this plant's flowers

Salmonberry habitat

Habitat

Found in wooded or shaded areas, particularly near rivers and streams. It prefers moist soils. Introduced from North America by the Victorians as a cover plant for game birds, it has now naturalised in the UK. It seems to be particularly prevalent in Scotland

Overall structure

Salmonberry has thin, erect, woody stems that are 1-4m tall. The lower part of the stem is often bare, with the foliage at the uppermost aspect. It s most often found as a thicket

Leaves

The bright-green leaves are trifoliate - having three leaflets. The base pair of leaflets have a large lower lobe, giving the leaf an almost palmate appearance. The leaflets' edges are toothed. A small amount of prickles are present on the underside of the leaf

Stems

The round stems are thin and erect. The new growth is bright green and ages to become brown and woody. The stems have more aggressive prickles than a raspberry, but considerably fewer than most species of Blackberry

Image coming soon.JPEG

Flowers

The flowers are bright pink in colour with five large petals. The flowers appear from early spring to early summer

Fruits

The fruits are made up of many drupelets - like a Blackberry or Raspberry - and are orange or red. The remains of the male reproductive parts are clearly visible between the fruit and sepals. When the fruit is removed, the central core (receptacle) remains attached the plant, like a raspberry. They ripen in summer

Possible lookalikes

Could easily be confused with Raspberry, however this has much duller fruit and pinnately compound leaves. Could also be confused with Cloudberry, but this is a low-growing plant with palmately lobed leaves. Both of these plants also have edible fruits

Use as a food The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked, and is thought to be more sweet and strongly flavoured in warmer summers. It has a pleasant tang.

Young stems can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked. The leaves can be used to make an infusion (tea) and the flowers can be eaten raw.

Hazards None known at time of writing

Problems It is a non-native and can out-compete native flora

Use in herbal medicine Salmonberry has been used to treat stomach complaints, burns, and labour pains, as well as being used as an analgesic and astringent

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Other uses can be used to prevent soil erosion on river banks

Importance to other species provides a food source for birds and mammals

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!