Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)


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Plant Description: The upright or slightly arching stems of this plant can form dense thickets around 6 ft high or can grow individually. Stems vary with some sparsely prickled, while the upper portions of new growth are densely prickled. The peeling bark is light brown and tends to have a distinctive golden-brown to rust-red color in winter. Leaves are pinnately compound, comprised of three sharply pointed leaflets, with deeply toothed margins, and some appearing crinkled with two lobes. Dark pink to red rose-like flowers bloom in clusters of 2-3. The round fruit is an aggregation of drupes, resembling a large yellow to orange red raspberry.

The berries and leaves of this plant are edible. Fruit is great for making jam or jellies. Salmonberry has medicinal properties as well: it can be consumed as a tea to treat diarrhea or dysentery. As an astringent, a poultice of leaves and bark can be used for dressing burns and open sores. *CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL FOR MEDICAL USE. NEVER CONSUME PLANTS WITHOUT PROPER ID*

  • Height: 1.5-10ft
  • Width: 1.5-10ft
  • Watering needs: regular
  • Sun needs: part to full shade
  • Soil needs: moist to wet
  • Bloom Time: spring to early summer
  • Ripening Time: summer
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This native plant is found growing in moist forest, slopes, valleys, riparian zones in the Pacific Northwest including Alaska, east into Idaho, and south into Mid-Coastal California at elevations up to 4600 ft. We recommend planting Salmonberry in food forests and in rain or woodland gardens. This plant will attract pollinators. It is a good source of nectar for hummingbirds and fruit for birds. Rubus spectabilis can be aggressive if given ideal growing conditions - to control it with ease, plant in a drier location. 

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