Northwest Native Flowers

Salmonberry

Honey bee on salmonberry flower.

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) is native to the coastal areas of northwestern United States and southwestern Canada. The fruits look like yellow raspberries, sometimes with a red tinge, but they are delicate and soft. The flavor varies with local populations: sometimes they are sweet and tempting, other times they are bland and flavorless. Nevertheless, both berries and young stem sprouts were treasured by native peoples.

Salmonberry on the vine. Photo by Rusty Burlew.

The plants grow along streams and in disturbed wet areas. The pink flowers are striking and well-attended by native bumble bees, mason bees, and non-native honey bees.

By May and June the ripe fruit attracts many woodland birds. If you want to make a jar of jam, you need to work quickly because the soft fruit is short lived and soon falls apart.