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Native Plant Spotlight: Salmonberry

Updated: Mar 6

Salmonberry, or Rubus Spectabilis is one of the first of our local shrub wildflowers to emerge, keep an eye out for Salmonberry’s bright pink blooms around Arch Cape in early spring. The early berries provide important food for native birds, coyote, bear, and other wildlife.

The deciduous shrub can grow up to 13 feet tall but are typically 4 to 5 feet around Arch Cape. Compound leaves have three sharply toothed leaflets. The bring pink flowers emerge before or at the same time as leaves start to bud in the spring.

The berries range from orange to read and look similar to raspberries or blackberries. Berries are edible but are often quite tart.

The name, Salmonberry is thought to have come from the fact that they tended to ripen at about the same time as Chinook salmon arrived in the Columbia River. Native American tribes traditionally ate the berries and used the berries in salmon honoring ceremonies. The berries continue to be consumed by both Native and non-Native peoples.

Source: Pacific Northwest Foraging by local author, Doug Deur

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