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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - October 17, 2011

From: Walla Walla, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs, Vines
Title: Blueberries & Raspberries for Walla Walla WA
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Which blueberry and raspbery plants grow best and suvive winter in Walla Walla Washington

ANSWER:

A couple old Whitties just had to grab this question as we have fond memories of traipsing off into the mountains in search of huckleberries!   Keep in mind that Mr Smarty Plants only recommends species that are native to your area!

We were in search of huckleberries as folks we respected as being knowledgeable told us that blueberries don't grow in the Eastern Washington, but that huckleberries did. My search of the Wildflower Center database found similar information.  Vaccinium membranaceum (Mountain huckleberry) can be found growing naturally, in Eastern Washington, including Walla Walla County.  Other varieties can be found close, such as thriving in the Cascades or in  Northern Idaho.  These include Vaccinium deliciosum (Cascade bilberry), Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush blueberry) and Vaccinium ovalifolium (Oval-leaf blueberry)

As per raspberries, you have a choice of varieties that should grow there.   Rubus idaeus (American red raspberry) is a classic and should grow well in Walla Walla.  Two varieties that thrive close include Rubus leucodermis (Whitebark raspberry) and Rubus pedatus (Strawberryleaf raspberry)

Finally, rather than trust much in what a couple of Texas transplants tell you,  WSU has an Extension Office in Walla Walla,  and they may well be of assistance!   

 

From the Image Gallery


Highbush blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum

Highbush blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum

Oval-leaf blueberry
Vaccinium ovalifolium

Oval-leaf blueberry
Vaccinium ovalifolium

Grayleaf red raspberry
Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus

Strawberryleaf raspberry
Rubus pedatus

Strawberryleaf raspberry
Rubus pedatus

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