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Edible Wild Berries

Wild Berries of the Pacific Northwest

edible-wild-berries

Harvest and Eat Native Berries

The Pacific Northwest is fortunate to have an abundance of native shrubs that have tasty edible berries. Anyone who learns to identify these delicious berries can enjoy healthy gourmet food for free. Most native wild fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients. They are usually organically grown and not genetically engineered or altered to suit the convenience of corporate farming practices to the detriment of nutrional value.

Some of the shrubs with edible berries include those commonly called blackberries, dewberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries, black caps, huckleberries, serviceberries, salal, oregon grape, currants and gooseberries. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, many of these plants may be growing in your neighborhood or even in your yard.

Of course, always check your local laws and ask landowners for permission before picking on private property. When picking berries in the national forest or on other public lands remember to only take what you will eat and leave plenty for the birds and animals in the area who depend on the fruit to survive.

Some of these berry plants have a wide distribution and may be found in many areas of North America. No matter where you live, you can find species of delicious native fruits to stretch your grocery budget.

If you would like to enjoy growing carefree native plants, there are sources for obtaining them inexpensively so you can start enjoying free food. Planting native berries will also attract native birds and animals who will usually happily help you clean-up any extra fruit.

All photos by the author, Vicki Green unless otherwise credited.

Northwestern Wild Berries

Identifying Wild Berries

Before you run out and start picking and eating wild berries, it is important to make sure you know how to correctly identify which berries are edible and which are poisonous. Learning from others who are knowledgeable and experienced in identifying local berries, taking a class or carefully studying field guides and other reference materials are important to avoid eating the wrong berries.

Himalayan Blackberries

Himalayan Blackberry

Himalayan Blackberry

Himalayan Blackberry - Rubus Discolor

Blackberries are certainly one of the most familiar, tasty and abundant berries in the Pacific Northwest. The most commonly found blackberry, the Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus Armeniacus or Rubus Discolor) is not a native plant but has become naturalized in the Pacific Northwest and other areas and is found growing along roadsides, parks and in almost any sunny spot where it is not aggressively controlled.

The berries usually begin to ripen in August and continue to be available for a month or longer until cool, damp weather causes them to mold and rot.

Picking them can be a painful experience and it is not for the faint-hearted. The thorns are incredibly nasty and they have some sort of a toxin which makes them very painful. Long sleeves, long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended. Tank tops, shorts and flip-flops are only worn by newbies or masochists. Did I mention the bugs? That's were the rest of the not-for-the faint-hearted comes in. There are always lots of bees, hornets, spiders and other little 6 and 8 legged creatures hiding in the blackberry thickets. Arachnophobics will not last long. But the berries are delicious!

Pacific or Trailing Blackberry

Pacific Trailing blackberry

Pacific Trailing blackberry

Trailing Pacific Blackberry - Rubus Ursinus

The Pacific or Trailing Blackberry is a native blackberry of the Pacific Northwest. As one of its common names suggests it grows on vines that trail along the ground. It is usually found on forest edges and in meadows often growing tangled with grasses and other plants. The berries are smaller than those of the Himalayan blackberry and they ripen about a month to 6 weeks earlier, usually around the first week of July in the Puget Sound area. The Pacific blackberry is smaller and the shape is usually more elongated. The trailing blackberry is more flavorful than the Himalayan Blackberry and has smaller seeds. It is an excellent berry for making pies, cobblers, crisps and jams.

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Ingredients:

6 to 8 cups fresh or frozen blackberries*

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 to 2 tablespoons blackberry liqueur, optional

Biscuit Topping (see recipe below)

Whipped Cream or Vanilla ice cream

* The amount of blackberries used depends on the size of your pan. If using a Cast-Iron Skillet, use 6 cups - 13x9-inch baking pan, use 8 cups.

BISCUIT TOPPING:

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Zest (peel) of 1 lemon

1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

2/3 cup milk

1 egg, slightly beaten

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until particles are the size of small peas. Add milk and egg; stir with a fork just until blended.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (this is to catch the blackberry juice that usually boils over from the baking dish or skillet).

If using fresh blackberries, wash, stem, and drain blackberries.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, blackberries, lemon juice, and blackberry liqueur. Pour into prepared baking dish or skillet.

Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. When blackberry mixture is hot, remove from oven and spoon Biscuit Topping mixture onto the top in 10 to 12 large spoonfuls. Return to oven and bake another 20 to 25 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the dumplings comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve either warm or room temperature. To serve, top with vanilla ice cream.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Black Cap Berries or Black Raspberries

Wild black-cap Berries

Wild black-cap Berries

Black Caps - Rubus Leucodermis

Black cap berries of the Pacific Northwest (rubus leucodermis) are a type of raspberry and are similar to Rubus Occidentalis, the native black raspberry species that grows in the eastern part of North America. Black caps are one of the earliest berries to ripen, usually in late June or early July in the Puget Sound area. The common name of Black cap berries is very descriptive of the ripe berries, they are a dark blue-black when ripe and the berry has a more shallow cup than garden varieties of raspberries so it is shaped like a little cap. Black cap berries are very high in anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants and are currently being researched as a potential cancer treatment.

The stems of the blackcap berry plant are a blue-ish white color, although sometimes the new shoots are pinkish. Historically many landowners would remove black cap plants because the stems have some pretty nasty thorns. The delicious taste and nutritional value of black cap berries has lead to a greater appreciation of their value and in some places they are now being commercially grown as a gourmet heirloom fruit. Although they have their own distinctive flavor, they can be used in almost any recipe that calls for raspberries.

Try a Berry Picking Rake

Make Picking Berries Easier with a Berry Picker

Berry picking can be a tedious and painful experience. Berry pickers have been around for centuries to make the job easier. Originally they were made from wood and metal as a handy tool to make picking berries quicker. Modern berry rakes are usually made from plastic making them easier to clean.


Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry - Rubus parviflorus

Thimbleberries are a North American native berry species that can be found from Alaska south to Mexico and east to Michigan. In the southern part of the range it is only found at higher elevations. Thimbleberries can easily be identified by their very large soft almost furry feeling leaves and bright red berries that look like a flattened raspberry and fit on a finger tip like a thimble.

Thimbleberries taste similar to raspberries, but not quite as juicy and with more seeds. They usually start to ripen in July, but it may be earlier or later depending on the weather and elevation.The plants do not have thorns which makes them much more pleasant and easy to pick, but they aren't as numerous as blackberries.

Thimbleberry Jam Recipe

Ingredients:

2 c. of Thimble berries

2 c. sugar

3 1/2 pint jars with lids, sterilized

In a heavy saucepan, bring berries & sugar to a boil over medium heat.

Cook for 5 minutes.

Pour into jars and seal

Salmonberry

Salmonberry

Salmonberry

Salmonberry - Rubus Spectabilis

Another member of the same genus as blackberries, raspberries and thimbleberries is the salmonberry. Salmonberries are a common native berry in the Pacific Northwest that tend to grow in large thickets in moist areas in filtered shade, especially under tall alder trees. They have beautiful magenta flowers in early spring that attract hummingbirds. Salmonberries have a more subtle flavor than blackberries or raspberries. There are several theories about how the salmonberry got its common name. Some say it originated from the traditional use by Native Americans of combining it with salmon roe to make it into pemmican. Others maintain it is because of the ripe salmonberry's resemblance to a cluster of salmon eggs. The berry has a core like a raspberry, but is glossy like a blackberry and ripens into various colors from yellow to shades of red and a bright pinkish orange color. They can be made into sauces, jams or wine, but these delicate berries are best enjoyed raw either as a snack or as a garnish on a salad. My hub about salmonberries has more information and recipes.


Serviceberries or Juneberries

Serviceberries

Serviceberries

Serviceberry - Amelanchier Species

There are about 20 different species of serviceberries, most of which occur in North America. There are also two species that are native to Asia and one in Europe. Serviceberries are called by many different common local names including sarvisberries, Juneberries, shadbush, shadblow, shadwood, saskatoon, chuckley pear and wild-plum. There is at least one native species of serviceberry found in every US state except Hawaii.

Although serviceberries are more closely related to apples, they look and taste similar to blueberries. In many areas serviceberries are among the first berries to ripen in the summer. In some places they are called Juneberries because they are traditionally ready to pick in June. Serviceberries can be substituted for blueberries in many recipes.

If you would like to purchase serviceberry plants they are often available from native plant nurseries or they can be purchased from Nature Hills Nursery.

Lemon-Juneberry Bread Recipe

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

2 cups serviceberries (or blueberries)

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter at room temperature

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 large eggs at room temperature

1/3 cup slivered almonds

Prepare the loaf pan by buttering, lining with wax paper and buttering again.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl place the berries and 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix well and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt. Stir well and set aside.

In a large bowl place the soft butter, balance of sugar (1/4 cup), lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix with an electric mixer at slow speed until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix at medium speed until well mixed and smooth.

Add the flour mixture and gently fold in with a spoon until barely mixed.

Add the berry mixture and fold until just moistened.

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with the almond slices.

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Loosen the bread by gently pulling up on the wax paper and then lift it from pan. Cool on racks until warm or room temperature, then peel off the wax paper.

The bread will keep for 2 to 3 days in a cool place, but is better fresh out of the oven

Salal Berries

Salal Berry

Salal Berry

Salal - Gaultheria shallon

Salal grows from Alaska south through British Columbia, Washington and Oregon to Southern California. The berries ripen to a dark blue-black in the late summer or fall. They taste sweet but rather bland. They do make good jellies and jams. The leaves can also be used to make a tea.

Salal Cranberry Relish Recipe

Ingedients:

3 cups whole salal berries (rinsed and cleaned)

Rind of 1 organic orange (coarsely grated)

3/4 cup sugar

3 cups cranberries (raw, whole)

Put all ingredients in a saucepan

Cook on low heat until the berries are tender.

Great served with salmon or poultry

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape - Mahonia Aquifolium

Oregon Grape - Mahonia Aquifolium

Oregon Grape - Mahonia Species

Oregon Grape are not grapes at all, but the dark blue clusters of fruit do resemble grapes. The plant is also sometimes called Oregon Holly, but the plant is actually in the barberry family. There are three different species that have slightly different appearance and natural habitat, but the berries are the same as far as I can tell. The one in the photo is Mahonia Aquifolium. They all tend to grow naturally as forest under story or on the edges of forested areas.

Oregon grape berries ripen in mid to late summer and are quite tart, but by adding sugar or mixing with sweeter berries they can be used in many recipes.

Oregon Grape Jam or Jelly Recipe

Oregon Grape Jam

Oregon Grapes are incredibly tart when eaten fresh. (Ok, I've eaten them and they are more than tart, they are mouth puckering sour!) However, they do make a very tasty jam or jelly if enough sugar is added.

Oregon Grape jam (or jelly) Recipe

Makes approximately four 6-ounce jars

2 to 3 cups fresh-picked Oregon Grapes, rinsed

2 cups water

½ packet = 1 ounce ( ½ of a 1/3 cup measure) commercial pectin

2½ cups sugar

Before you start, sterilize four 6-ounce glass jam jars with boiling water. Wash the lids.

Instructions:

Boil rinsed Oregon Grapes in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture through a colander set over a large pan. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash the pulp then press some of it through the colander into the pan below. Discard the seeds. (At this point, to make jelly, strain the pulp through cheesecloth.)

Bring mixture to a boil again.

Stir in 1 ounce commercial pectin, then bring to a rolling boil.

Add 2½ cups sugar, stirring constantly. Stir and boil for about 4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.

Set the glass jars on a wire rack or folded towel for cooling, then carefully ladle the jam into the jars. Cover loosely with a towel overnight.

When set (probably by the next morning), the jam may be refrigerated for up to three weeks, or frozen for up to a year. Or you may can the jam or jelly as you usually do.

A Berry Comb for Children - A Child Size Berry Rake

Picking Berries with Children

I have fond childhood memories of picking wild berries with my parents. It was very rewarding to help gather fruit that my mother would later turn into a delicious pie, cobbler or jam. To involve children with helping to pick berries, especially those with thorns, giving them a child-sized berry rake of their own will make the task much easier and less painful.

Red Huckleberries

Red Huckleberries

Red Huckleberries

Red Huckleberry - Vaccinium parvifolium

The red huckleberry is only found in northwestern North America from southeastern Alaska south through British Columbia western Washington and Oregon to California. It grows as part of the understory in forests and in areas that have been logged. It usually is found growing on old decaying logs and stumps. The berries ripen in early summer and are quite tasty, but tart. Red Huckleberries can be eaten fresh or can be used to make jams, jellies or pies.

Cautionary Note: Red huckleberries closely resemble the very toxic berries of the Pacific Yew which is found in the same type of habitat. The foliage of the two plants is very different so luckily it is fairly easy to tell them apart. As you can see from the photo, the leaves of the red huckleberry shrub are small, light green, fairly round. Red Huckleberry leaves are deciduous so the plant has no leaves in the winter. The Pacific Yew has dark green needles that are evergreen, remaining on the plant year round. However, it can't be over-emphasized that it is very important to be certain of your identification before eating any wild berries!

Keep Your Hands Free with a Berry Picking Harness

Berry Picking Tip: Use a Fruit Picking Bucket and Harness

Using a berry picking bucket with a harness provides a handy place to carry fruits and berries, keeps your hands free for picking and minimizes the chance of spilling your fruit.

Evergreen Huckleberries

Evergreen Huckleberries

Evergreen Huckleberries

Evergreen Huckleberry - Vaccinium ovatum

Evergreen huckleberry grows from British Columbia south through the west side of the Cascades in Washington south to the redwoods forests of California. It can occasionally be found as far south as the area of Santa Barbara, CA.

Huckleberries and Blueberries are closely related vaccinium species. Generally the wild vaccinium species growing naturally in the western part of North America are called "huckleberries" and the species that grow in the eastern part of North America are called "blueberries".

The evergreen huckleberry grows well in forests under tall evergreen trees and bears a heavy crop of fruit even when growing in the shade. The berries ripen to a dark purple to almost black in the late summer and fall. They are delicious eaten fresh or can be used in jams and jellies.

Mountain or Big Huckleberry

Mountain Huckleberries

Mountain Huckleberries

Wild Mountain Huckleberry

Mountain Huckleberry - Vaccinium membranaceum

Mountain or Big Huckleberry grows from Alaska and British Columbia south through the Cascade and Olympic mountains to California and east through Ontario, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, and parts of Michigan. They ripen to a dark blue color in the summer to fall, depending on the elevation. These are very abundant in western Montana and Idaho and are the berries that are made into all sorts of huckleberry treats that are sold in gift shops in that area.

Huckleberries are considered by many people to be the best tasting wild berry. They are delicious eaten fresh or can be substituted for blueberries in any recipe.

Huckleberry Coffee Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking power

1/2 teaspoon sale

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

2 cups fresh or frozen huckleberries

Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup butter softened

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Batter: In a bowl, blend together flour sugar, baking power, salt, butter or margairine, milk and egg.

Using and eclectric mixer, eat vigorously for 30 seconds. Carefully stir huckleberries into the batter. Pour into a greased 9 inch square pan.

(I was surprised how thick the batter was the first time I made this, so don't be alarmed, it's ok)

Mis the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick stuck into the middle comes out clean.

Keep Your Berries Fresh with a Berry Keeper

Keeping Your Berries Fresh After Picking

If you can't use your berries immediately after picking, there are containers that are especially designed to help keep berries fresh longer. Berry keepers have a water reservoir in the base to provide moisture to prevent the berries from drying out and have a vent to allow air flow. They are stackable and save room in the refrigerator.

Field Guides - Tools for Identifying Wild Edible Plants

There are more field guides that cover all of North America that you can use to help you learn to identify many edible wild plants and even more importantly, to distinguish them from poisonous ones.

Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

My blog, Life at Willeth Farm has more articles and information about gardening in the Pacific Northwest.

© 2010 Vicki Green

Do you have edible wild berries growing near you? - Have you tried eating them?

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 01, 2018:

We have thimbleberries in our area and it is fun to watch them ripen.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on April 05, 2018:

I love picking wild berries. What could be more natural. I have thimble berries growing wild in my backyard and I live on the Connecticut shoreline.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 03, 2015:

I love this hub! The information is interesting and the photos are lovely. The recipes are an added bonus.

Peter Badham from England on July 31, 2014:

Fantastic page, can't wait until the berries come out here in England, the Lemon-Juneberry Bread sounds yummy.

VioletteRose LM on July 30, 2014:

I love all berries, thanks for sharing this great lens :)

Dawn from Maryland, USA on July 28, 2014:

I love this lens! I just recently picked what I call wild raspberries... and tonight I made a dump cake with them. I had no idea there wre so many edible berries out there. I need to study up.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 26, 2014:

I have berries growing on a bush in my yard that look similar to the huckleberry but since I live in Ontario I'm assuming that they're not huckleberries. Great lens!

Amanda R on July 18, 2014:

What a fantastic lens! Thanks for the info! These recipes are making my mouth water!

Lynn Klobuchar on July 18, 2014:

I am two weeks away from going Up North, as we say in Minnesota, and picking blueberries. Cannot wait!!

mrinfo10 lm on July 17, 2014:

I love wild Blackberries, and they're finally starting to grow. Unfortunately, the bears like them, too!

notoriouslysinglegirl on July 16, 2014:

Very interesting!! Lot's of detail!! Great lens!!

fibonacci1123 on July 16, 2014:

Wow, very thorough. I always worried the berries (wild) were poisonous or just not good. Thanks for the info! Great lens!

John Dyhouse from UK on July 11, 2014:

My wife and I have always loved collecting edible crops from the hedgrows, etc. In the UK we don't seem to have as many different berries as you do but there are a good few. Apart from collecting berries for eating and baking we used to make lots of country wines. A few of the fruits we collected were blackberries, sloes, damson, plum, apple, crab apple, elderberry, hazel nuts. A few of these had obviously escaped from cultivated areas and had established themselves in the wild. there were many more but one worthy of mention was acorns, we actually made coffee from roast acorns just to try it.

Very interesting lens

Richard from Hampshire - England on July 09, 2014:

I love berry-picking on long hikes and walks. You've provided really excellent information here, and hopefully it will inspire more people to try wild berries now they know what is safe :)

asereht1970 from Philippines on July 07, 2014:

I did enjoyed reading this lens. And thanks for the additional information.

Joy Neasley from Nashville, TN on July 07, 2014:

I love fresh dewberries and dewberry cobbler like my momma use to make.... we had plenty to make all we wanted on the back of the property.

SilverLotus1 on July 04, 2014:

enjoyed this lens!

RoadMonkey on July 03, 2014:

I used to pick blackberries with my grandmother when I was young. Blackberry tart (or pie) is delicious.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on July 02, 2014:

Saw this on the home page today and thought it a great resource for readers on my Squidoo contributor FB page, Cooking with Whole Grains & Whole Foods, so I'm posting it there today. Wonderful list and good information. Thank you!

Jordan on July 02, 2014:

Very nice lens i love learning about new fruits! I planted a patch of 5 blackberry plants ! I am going to get a nice batch this year.

Vicki Green (author) from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on May 18, 2014:

@paulahite: Thank you!

Vicki Green (author) from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on May 18, 2014:

@Pat Goltz: Actually there are a number of berries that birds can eat that are poisonous to humans, so it is always a good idea to be sure of your identification before eating a wild berry.

PaigSr from State of Confusion on May 17, 2014:

For me its been a lifetime of blackberries. Growing up I would usually just go on an eating spree. Later it was jelly making 101. Now we have berry bushes in out back yard.

Paula Hite from Virginia on April 17, 2014:

Beautiful Lens!! It was featured on our G+ page for Gardeners today! Great cross over lens! Thanks!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/10593843672309975630...

Pat Goltz on July 23, 2013:

Very interesting information. I had been trying for YEARS to figure out what a certain plant was, that I saw in Alabama. Your lens told me: Oregon Grape! Thank you! I like the berry pickers. What a great idea! We don't have berries to pick around here, particularly. If I see birds eating a berry, I figure it isn't risky to try it myself. Maybe I am mistaken, but so far, so good. :)

DebMartin on July 15, 2013:

Wild berries and the picking and eating of them are one of my passions. The thimbleberry is one of my favorites. And the huckleberry. And the blueberry. And the black and raspberries. Oh, I just love them all.

Angela F from Seattle, WA on June 21, 2013:

There's wild blackberries in the back yard where I live. Can't wait to start picking near the end of July hopefully :)

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 16, 2013:

Near our cabin we have wild raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and we use the to make pie.

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 16, 2013:

Near our cabin we have wild raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and we use the to make pie.

Jogalog on May 15, 2013:

I remember picking blackberries as a child and I would love to try your blackberry cobbler.

hovirag on May 14, 2013:

I didn't know there are so many edible berries! I also make elderberry jams - you can't eat the raw food but as a jam it is a great source of iron - besides flavonoids, vitamins and minerals

lesliesinclair on April 15, 2013:

I didn't realize that we can eat Oregon Grape berries. Thanks.

EmmaCooper LM on March 13, 2013:

Great lens! Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

ratetea on February 13, 2013:

I live in the eastern U.S., but I love wild berries. Here, two of my favorites are the native black raspberries, and the non-native Japanese wineberries. I also love mulberries and wild black cherries. Especially before I moved into a city, I would frequently eat wild berries all summer long, often in quantity! I think it's great to help people become aware of these free, wild food sources, especially when they can help control invasives like the Himalayan blackberries or the wineberries, through eating up their fruit.

Takkhis on February 12, 2013:

Nice lens! Well, we mostly buy from store.

karen-stephens on November 28, 2012:

I love berries. They are a staple in my cooking. But, no butter or sugar!

ediblegardennw on September 27, 2012:

Thimbleberries have incredible flavor and are so delicate. If the plants could only be more productive rather than just a few berries here and there. Great recipes you have here I will have to try them out soon.

Kathryn Wallace from Greenbank, WA, USA on September 01, 2012:

It's blackberry season! I'll be picking more today for freezing, eating, and adding to smoothies. My favorite time of year.

matt-yost-5 on August 26, 2012:

I make freezer jam with the Himalayan blackberries that grow in the orchard. It's the best berry I've found for making jam, as the flavor doesn't get stepped on by the lemon juice in the recipe.

anonymous on August 26, 2012:

Making a pie tomorrow now that you stimulated me

GreenfireWiseWo on August 26, 2012:

Great lens - thank you.

SheilaMilne from Kent, UK on August 25, 2012:

As far as I know we have only blackberries in this are, also damsons and sloes. The season is just starting now!

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on August 24, 2012:

Our yard is surrounded in raspberry bushes but I no longer live near wild berries. As a kid though we ate them while we played and on our way to and from school.

Ardyn25 on August 21, 2012:

Now I'm hungry for berries...great lens!

JoshK47 on August 17, 2012:

Popping back in to bless these tasty looking berries!

TTMall on August 15, 2012:

Great lens with excellent pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Rose Jones on August 13, 2012:

Really nice lens. Blackberries are my favorite, and I love finding wild berries.

olmpal on August 09, 2012:

I didn't know all those types of wild berries. However, there are blackberry plants outside of the edge of my garden which I collect every year. Also, I didn't know that berries of Mahonias (Oregon grapes) are edible! I have one plant in my garden and this year I will try your jam recipe for sure!

Michey LM on August 06, 2012:

I enjoy immensely your lens, I learn about berries I never heard of yet, and i like that you give us recipes as well. Blessings!

Stephanie Tietjen from Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 31, 2012:

I enjoyed picking wild berries when visiting Oregon, and eating them too.

cateror on July 26, 2012:

Love fresh berries, and nothing beats ones you picked yourself :) Berry-picking makes a great outing for friends and family, too! Thanks for an informative and interesting lens!

CristianStan on July 25, 2012:

One of the best drinks I've ever had was a simple frozen blueberry smoothie. The fruit is already frozen, so no ice cubes needed, and just add a little water and there you go! Perfect!

skymartin on July 23, 2012:

I love blackberry cobbler...a must try for anybody.

Melissa Miotke from Arizona on July 22, 2012:

We had blackberries at our home in WI and I miss that like crazy. No berries now...

Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on July 20, 2012:

Have Blackberries and Thimble berries growing wild in the back yard. Blessings on this very well done article! :)

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on July 19, 2012:

Back for a re-visit. Such a lovely selection of berries. I've never been to Oregon or Washington state. Looks like I should visit during berry season. You have a much greater variety in the wild than what I see in New England.

Growing up in Kansas, there were gooseberries which were very tart. Sandhill plums were another wild fruit to pick there.

rallo-smith on July 18, 2012:

I love wild berries and these are some great recipes.

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on July 18, 2012:

Forgot to mention...your photos are fantastic! Makes all those berries shown here scrumptious-looking!

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on July 18, 2012:

Growing up, there was a field filled with blackberry bushes across the road from my grandmother's house. For years my brother & I picked those blackberries on a regular basis and even had our own little 'Berry Stand' in the yard selling our 'berries'. By the time I reached my teens, a developer had found that field and a row of houses went up where my blackberry bushes had been. Deep disappointment. To this day I miss those blackberry bushes and LOVE blackberries.

AJ from Australia on July 17, 2012:

I am just a tad envious that anybody could pick and eat berries straight from the bush. The young girl berry picker is just gorgeous. You must have had a beautiful and uncomplicated childhood if you were something like her. Blessings.

KonaGirl from New York on July 17, 2012:

I love these berries and the recipes look scrumptious!

jasminesphotogr on July 17, 2012:

I love berries! My grandma grows black raspberries in her backyard but they did not come this year because of all the heat and lack of rain. What a disappointment!

MarcStorm LM on July 12, 2012:

I can remember when i was younger and our family had a beautiful garden full of pumpkins, peas, etc. There were also raspberries & blackberries. Such great memories you brought back to me, tasty treats! The garden was right by the hose too, so we could just hose them off and eat them right away. I'm glad you showcased this idea. I accidentally got poison sumac, one summer, near my friends house because i was playing with a branch that had red looking berries. I was smart enough to not eat them but shouldn't have been touching the branches either. They were fallen branches, laying on the ground(probably from wear and tear from wind or even some storms) and I was just holding the branch in my hands swaying it back and forth, as kids do. They were greasy, as a lot of plants are, so I wiped my hands on my jeans and voila! covered in itchy red goodness for the next couple of weeks So that pretty much completed my checklist of having all the forms of possible poison ivy's, oak and sumac for my skin(2 different times) lol I'm an adventurer, what can i say, lol *I think the tornado that rolled through, the following year, took those poison sumac trees away! Great Article!

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on July 12, 2012:

Interesting, well-explained, useful information, terrific photos, and delicious recipes. Blessed! :)

SugarB on July 04, 2012:

Great lens - you are blessed to have such a variety of berries to pick.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 27, 2012:

Now I know the names of the berries growing wild around our cottage. I often leave some for the bears, though.

Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on June 26, 2012:

I came back to bless this exceptional lens.

Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on June 26, 2012:

We grow many berries in our large garden but how I miss the huckleberries we used to pick in the mountains when we lived in the Kootenay Valley! Maybe it was just the fond memory of a child but I remember them as the very best berry I have ever tasted!

We had many exciting experiences while picking these wild berries!

dream1983 on June 26, 2012:

A wonderful lens, great job! Squidlike

IMKZRNU2 from Pacific Northwest on June 18, 2012:

We love to berry pick too...thanks for the informative lens!

WhitePineLane on June 13, 2012:

What a fun lens! And your photos are beautiful. I love picking berries near my cabin in northern Minnesota. We don't have nearly the variety that you show here, though!

NeverTooLate2012 on June 12, 2012:

One of my favorite things about living in the Pacific Northwest is going blackberry & blueberry picking! I even like the red blackberries :)

caffimages on June 08, 2012:

Great ideas and recipes. I'm adding this to my foraging lens as a featured lens. Thank you.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on June 01, 2012:

Yes, there are a number of edible berry plants in San Francisco's Golden Gate park, though we always leave them for the birds and the people for whom the park is home. As a child living in the northwest, I enjoyed many a berry picking outing with my family. I miss blackcaps! They were so good, juicy and fresh from the vine. I miss mountain huckleberries too, my all time favorite berry, just as you say it is for so many. Your recipes look fabulous.

jazziyarbrough on May 19, 2012:

Thank you so much for the wonderful info! I want to eat some wild berries now!

sallemange on April 12, 2012:

This is so informative. I have recently been part of a community project here in the UK to create a Forest Garden, which is entirely self sustaining and features edible fruits. One of the more unusual ones we are using is the Japanese Wine Berry which is said to taste delicious and great for pies too.

BodyLanguageExp on April 10, 2012:

We have blackberries when the season is right for them. They are super delicious to eat. I love making blackberry jam with them.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on April 02, 2012:

I'm sure there are native berries in these alpine valleys and meadows. Since there are bears here, they will probably find the berries well before I do. This is an excellent wild berries article. I learned a great deal and can't wait to try some of these recipes. Now I'm having a blackberry cobbler craving!

Anthony Altorenna from Connecticut on March 23, 2012:

Awesome lens packed with information and great photos. The recipes are an added bonus.

We've planted raspberry patch, a strawberry patch and several blueberry bushes, and there are wild blueberries and blackberries growing in the woods surrounding our property. We get some of the fruit, but the birds and chipmunks get the larger share.

happynutritionist on March 22, 2012:

We have blueberries and raspberries growing in our backyard and many berries in the woodlands that surround us here in northern nj. You pictures are great, it takes time to look at the berries and see the differences between them, especially all the different varieties of blackberry. *blessed*

Norbert Isles from Philippines on March 09, 2012:

No. None growing near me; but I have always loved them from pictures I've seen and what I read about them, especially blueberries and other super fruits which I tasted only as jam or marmalade or cake fillings and as natural fruit juices. How I would love picking them up myself and eating them fresh. Love this lens very much!

gottaloveit2 on March 05, 2012:

What a well developed lens! I have fresh mullberries in my backyard and love eating them right off the vine. I also remember a time when I was in Vermont and wandered upon a "purple hill." Upon further inspection, it was a blueberry laden hill - we picked and picked them and ate them all the way back to Md. Lens is blessed!

Thrinsdream on February 28, 2012:

I had never seen a picking rake before reading this lens! With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

flicker lm on February 25, 2012:

We have wild blackberries, strawberries (tiny), raspberries, black raspberries, and thimbleberries in my area. That Blackberry Cobbler looks great!

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on February 24, 2012:

I live in Arizona now so don't know of any edible berries. I've eaten some of the delicious NW berries right from the vine. Love them! That is the first time I'd heard of marion berries.

anonymous on February 14, 2012:

What a great lens,.........

Sandy Dell from Lenore, Idaho on February 13, 2012:

Great lens! Thanks for sharing.

Sandy

International Wild Huckleberry Association

www.wildhuckleberry.com

ElizabethJeanAl on February 07, 2012:

There are wild blackberries in the woods behind our house. They make a great jelly

ElizabethJeanAl on February 07, 2012:

There are wild blackberries in the woods behind our house. They make a great jelly

vkumar05 on February 07, 2012:

Very attractive berries. Remind me of my childhood days.

GreenMind Guides from USA on January 30, 2012:

What a great lens -- I really like this and there are blackberries on my parents' farm...

pheonix76 from WNY on January 29, 2012:

Very informative lens! I am always excited to learn about native plants, particularly those which offer a delicious treat. I enjoy picking and eating wild berries here in New York every summer. :)

Lindrus on January 28, 2012:

Great lens! I love going out berry-picking in the woods! You brought back some happy memories with your lens.

Chuck Nelson from California on January 28, 2012:

Good information and memories. Growing up in the country we picked wild blackberries each year and had loads of blackberry jam all year round. My wife and I picked elderberries a few years back and she made jelly as she did when she was young...tasty memories.

cleanyoucar on January 27, 2012:

Great information here. Congrats by the way on getting the Purple Star.

TransplantedSoul on January 27, 2012:

This is a great source of information. I guess it pays to be careful!

Johanna Eisler on January 27, 2012:

I have wonderful memories of blackberry-picking from the time I was a child here in northern California. Later, when I got married and moved to British Columbia, the first pie I made as a "married lady" was a Saskatoon berry pie. I had never heard of those berries before, but a friend had picked a huge amount of them and shared them with me. Thank you for bringing back good memories and for educating me about many more berries. I'm going to bookmark this page for reference.

Thank you so much, and congratulations on making the front page!

Eileen from Western Cape , South Africa on January 26, 2012:

Great lens and very informative .

Edutopia on January 26, 2012:

A great guide for those of us who want to explore the outdoors with a minimum of gear and an even better guide for what to do with our bounty once we return to the kitchen! :D

Fay Favored from USA on January 25, 2012:

Where I used to live I had loads of wid berries I loved to eat. I miss that. The wild berries I have in my yard now are bitter and not good for anything but the bunnies. But that's ok.

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