| Rubus spectabilis, also known as Salmonberry, is a species of shrub that belongs to the rose family, Rosaceae. As such the stems of salmonberries are a little prickly so beware before grabbing the stalks with your bare hands. It is native to the Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska to California.
Salmonberry typically grows up to 3-12 feet tall and can form dense thickets. The leaves are deciduous, toothed, and composed of three leaflets. The flowers are pink to purple and bloom in late spring to early summer, and are followed by edible fruit, which are typically orange to red in color and resemble raspberries.
Salmonberry is often found in moist, shaded areas such as forests, streambanks, and wetlands. It is a popular food source for birds, bears, and other wildlife. The berries are edible some people enjoy salmonberries while others think them too tart or bitter. They can be eaten fresh or used in jams, jellies, and pies. The young shoots of the plant are also edible and can be cooked and eaten like asparagus.
Salmonberry has been used for medicinal purposes by indigenous communities for generations. The bark and leaves have been used to treat various ailments such as stomach aches, sore throats, and wounds. The plant also has cultural significance and is used in traditional ceremonies and practices.
In Kodiak, Alaska, orange salmonberries are often referred to as "Russian berries". Because the berries are found in abundance there and look a lot like raspberries, one of the islands in the Kodiak archipelago is named Raspberry Island (Alaska). Plain salmonberries are found as far north as Unalakleet, Alaska.