Salmonberry – Rubus Spectabilis

By fruit bearing trees
November 2, 2010

Salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis, is a fruit bearing shrub, growing to 1-4 meters tall, with perennial woody and spiny stems, indigenous to the west coast of North America from west central Alaska to California. The Salmonberry is found in damp forests and stream edges, particularly in the coastal forests. Salmonberries frequently form large thickets, and flourish in the open spaces below stands of Red Alder (Alnus rubra).

Rubus spectabilis leaves are trifoliated, fuzzy, 7-22 cm long and with serrated borders. The terminal leaflet is larger than the two side leaflets. Leaves are a look-alike in shape to those of the Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus discolor). Flowers are small, pink or purple, 2-3 cm diameter, with five petals; they are developed from early spring to early summer.

Salmonberry Fruit

The Salmonberry fruit ripens in late summer to early fall; it is edible and resembles a large yellow to orange-red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus), 1.5-2 cm long with numerous drupelets. Sweetness of the fruit is depending upon the ripeness and its location. They are good eaten raw and are also made into Salmonberry pie, jam, candy, jelly and wine. The orange variety can be rather tasty while the darker reddish Salmonberry tends not to be as tasteful and is in general avoided.

However, the Salmonberry are incredibly rich in vitamin C, more so than just about any other berries. They also have a large number of antioxidants. Gardeners looking for an improvement to a river or watercourse side garden would do well to consider the Salmonberry bush. Although the Salmonberry bush has spines they are much smaller than those of the blackberry or raspberry bush.

Salmonberry Propagation Methods

Plant propagation is by fresh seed but as well from layering, rhizomes, root cuttings, and hardwood cuttings. The Salmonberry flourishes along streams and in moist forests, favoring damp soil and partial sunlight. In addition to its edible fruit the Salmonberry plant is widely grown as an ornamental plant for its flowers. Rubus spectabilis is a member of the Rosaceae family the genus Rubus.

Salmonberry, Rubus Spectabilis

Fruit and Nut Trees

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