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15 wild berries that are ripe in the Pacific Northwest right now!

 
pollinator
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Fall in North American means berry season! My friends and I went backpacking in the Oregon wilderness over Labor Day Weekend and found 15+ wild-growing berries. We chowed on thimbleberries, huckleberries, raspberries, serviceberries, watermelon berries, and many others. I had my GoPro handy and managed to film bits and pieces of our wild edibles harvest in between tasty bites. Watch this video to learn how to identify and forage for over a dozen delicious berries.


 
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I'm amazed you found salmonberries and huckleberries! My bush/canes of them have been barren of berries for weeks

Aren't gooseberries the ones with thorns and currants the ones without thorns? We've got native stink currant and swamp gooseberry on our property. I haven't checked recently to see if there's any ripe!

I'm bummed about my thimbleberry stands. I have a bunch of thimbleberry canes spread over my property, and we only got 2 or 3 berries. No idea why, as it wasn't too hot or dry this year.

Wow! That red huckberry bush is stunted! It looks almost bonsaied. I've never seen one so small and producing. I wonder if that has to do with the elevation?

That's interesting that the wild strawberries aren't in season up there. My little patches are still producing, though not nearly as much as they were a month ago. I think it might be too dry for them. I've found the wild strawberries produce from June to sometimes even October@

I've never heard of watermellon berry!

I think the unknown berry is twinberry, and it are not generally considered edible! I spotted some down my road a few years back, and looked them up.
 
pollinator
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My first thought was heck, it's not thimbleberry season anymore! (Maybe elsewhere?) My second thought was "what's a watermelon berry" and thanks for identifying that plant for me, I know I've seen it somewhere and wondered what it was. I'll have to go for a walk today and see if I can figure out where that was.

Twinberry is edible at least in small amounts, but "not considered edible" because it's gross-tasting as heck. I tried one once and wouldn't put it in my mouth again unless I was very desperate. It tastes very strongly of rubber bands, to me.
 
Sergei Boutenko
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Nicole,

Wowza, you're fast! Looks like you watched my video thoroughly! Yes, the forest in North Oregon is bursting with berries right now. The huckleberries, thimbleberries, and watermelon berries are especially abundant this year. In terms of the gooseberries/currants, you are correct. Typically, gooseberries have woody thorns and currants just have little spikes, that said, it was a mish-mash of thorns and spikes out there. :-) Given that both berries are in the same family, I wasn't too picky. Interesting that you still have strawberries over there, ours went out of seasons in early July. Thank you also for the lead on twinberry. I intentionally left that one uncategorized to restate the importance of not eating unknown plants. I plan to study up on twinberry soon.
 
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I'd never heard watermelon berry either! I know the plant as twisted stalk.

A berry I tried for the first time this year is false solomon's seal (Maianthemum racemosum). They're usually all gone by the time I think to look. They have a big seed in the middle and taste like maraschino cherries. Very cool.

Don't eat Solomon's seal, though (Polygonatum).
 
Meg Mitchell
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Having finished work and actually watched the video, I am a little bit jealous. I have a lot of the same plants around here but their seasons are over, and the birds get to most of them before I do. Blackcap raspberry and thimbleberry are probably my favorite fruits and I have to patrol around every day to catch them before they're gone. Red huckleberry, serviceberry and wild strawberry seems more common if I drive about an hour inland (I live in the coast).

I haven't found that watermelon berry yet but what I do have out today is a lot of Oregon grape. They're pretty sour raw but can be used to make processed foods like jam. I would let you know how that tastes, but I haven't quite gotten the hang of jam yet; my last attempt at Oregon grape jam produced a very large hard candy at the bottom of a jam jar.

As a Canadian I have to token protest calling "Sambucus canadensis" an "American elderberry". 😉I don't think it's usually found on the west coast and while I've never been lucky enough to see any wild elderberries I think blue elderberry is more common out here? I can't really tell them apart though so it's possible this one was an escapee.
 
Sergei Boutenko
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Meg,

Your message put a smile on my face. Especially the Canadian protest part. It's true, in America we think we rule the world. This of course is just an illusion. :-) Plants don't know that we the people created borders. They just grow in the way that nature intended. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!
 
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