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Rubus spectabilis Pursh
Salmon raspberry, Salmonberry
USDA Symbol: rusp
A thicket-forming shrub, usually 3-9 ft. tall, with erect to arching stems and trifoliate leaves. Stems are bristly below, less so above. The big, reddish-purple, solitary flowers appear before the pinnate, toothed foliage. The large, bright, showy petals surround a large cluster of stamens. An erect or sometimes leaning shrub with weakly armed stems, bright pink flowers, and yellow or salmon-red fruits that resemble a cultivated blackberry in all but color. The berry is raspberry-like and yellow to reddish.
On moist, sunny slopes in the Cascades, Salmonberry can form impenetrable thickets. The juicy fruit, which looks like a yellow or orange blackberry, is a welcome trailside snack, though too bland for some tastes. Indians ate not only the berries but also the tender young shoots. Numerous birds and animals also feast on the fruits, which may be abundant in good years. The deep pink flowers are distinctive and may occur along with the fruits.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
, WA Canada: BC Native Distribution:
S. coastal AK
to n.w. CA; rarely e. of the Cascade crest to Bonner Co, ID Native Habitat:
Low, moist woods; stream banks; mt. slopes
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist to drier soils.
Conditions Comments: Can become extremely aggressive.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Very high for songbirds, game birds, and large and small mammals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagation is easiest by cuttings or layering. Increase by seed is not as easy but is possible.
Seed Collection: Rubus fruits should be collected as soon as ripe to prevent losses to birds. The seeds can be extracted by macerating in water.
Seed Treatment: The hard, impermeable seed coat needs scarification. Both H2SO4 and sodium hypochlorite have been used. Scarification is sometimes followed by a complex combination of warm and cold stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff