Spectacular salmonberry

Flamboyant pink blossoms decorate the berry canes growing alongside a shady creek. This is salmonberry–a plant graced with both tasty fruit and beautiful flowers. The open-faced blooms have five delicately crinkled petals surrounding a pale cluster of stamens and pistils.

The berries ripen in the fall, and can be eaten raw or in pies or jellies (they are considered too seedy for jam). These attractive plants are nice in a garden, though should be placed carefully as they can get spindly and are also favored by deer.

While researching this plant I was delighted to learn that there are ailments brought on specifically by excess salmon consumption! I don’t know what these ailments are, but indigenous tribes considered the bark of salmonberry to be an excellent treatment for them. The bark was also used to disinfect wounds and (brewed, powdered or poulticed) to relieve pain, headaches, burns, toothaches, labor pain, and sores. The Kwakiutl tribe also encouraged childrens’ growth by applying chewed salmonberry sprouts to the top of the kids heads.

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Filed under Edible, Good for gardens, Native, Plant of the day

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