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What Are Salmonberries?

The salmonberry bush (Rubus spectabilis) has salmon-colored or reddish raspberry-shaped fruit, and is found across much of the Pacific Northwest. The salmonberry leaf is often likened to the shape of a butterfly or a man's moustache and goatee. The leaves and flowers of the salmonberry emerge quite early in the springtime, providing a welcome splash of pink color in the early spring. Although the salmonberry has thorns, these are much smaller than those of the blackberry or raspberry bush.

The berries can be slightly bitter to sweet, depending upon maturity, and are often snacked upon by passing hikers. Salmonberries are usually not found for sale unless at small farm stands and markets, although they make passable jam and preserves if enough can be collected. They are good to eat when bright orange and sometimes taste a little bitter when they are red.

Salmonberries are sometimes confused with cloudberries, another close relative, although salmonberries grow on a bush, while cloudberries tend to hug the ground.

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