Thursday, June 21, 2012

100 Species Challenge #81

Specimen #81: Wild raspberry
Rubus occidentalis

Photos by me
June 2012 in West Des Moines

While I was searching my usual places for a mulberry tree, I found this happy surprise! Black raspberries in the middle of town. I had no trouble getting a pint in twenty minutes -- the birds were able to eat from one side of the plant; I took the other side. My youngest picked with me on a different day, and we had the same bountiful luck.

I ate plain berries and used some for syrup -- yum. The USDA lists more interesting and very diverse uses for the plant here.

Wildman Steve Brill writes about this plant, and you can also read about it from the USDA.

Though not as fleshy as their domesticated cousins, the sweetness is definitely present in these berries. They seem to take root wherever the canes touch the ground.

If you are confused about blackberries and black raspberries, read this excellent article.

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