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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Rubus spectabilis

Salmonberry

Flowering Period: Mar, Apr, May, Jun March April May June
Flower color: red Flower color: pink
Full sun Mostly sunny Partial sun
Wet soil Moist soil


At a Glance: Erect and branching shrub with early spring pink flowers and reddish-orange raspberry-like fruits.

Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Growth Form: Shrub.
Stems: Often forming dense thickets, zig-zag twigs without hairs, with scattered prickles; bark golden brown and shredding; stems prickly on new growth.
Leaves: Alternate, usually with 3 distinct leaflets consisting of 2 smaller lateral leaflets and one larger terminal leaflet; sharply toothed; color: dark green.
Flowers: 1-2 or even 4 on short branches; primary color: pink to red to reddish-purple (magenta); size: 2-4 cm; shape: circular, 5 petaled.
Flowering Period: March, April, May, June.
Fruits: Mushy orange-red raspberry-like fruits.

Rubus spectabilis
Photo © 2004, Starflower Foundation
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

wet
moist
dry

Wetland Indicator Status:
low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
(data not available)

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites

Wildlife Value
Berries
Seeds
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover

Birds: Fruits eaten by grouse, pheasants, robins, orioles, thrushes, tanagers, finches, wrens, bushtits, quail, and towhees. One of the first blooming plants visited by hummingbirds. Thickety structure great for birds.
Insects: Food for bumblebees.
Mammals: Fruit eaten by raccoons, chipmunks, and squirrels
Other Wildlife: Browsed by rabbits and deer.


Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Material Uses: The Kwakwakawakw and Haida used the woody shoots as spears in games. They were sometimes used as arrow shafts too. The Haida held down cedar bark roofing with crosswise salmonberry sticks. The Squamish used short hollowed pieces as joints and connectors between harpoon heads and gaffs, and their shafts. The hollowed stems could also be plugs or pipes. The leaves under food would help it dry.
Medicinal Uses: Bark and leaves have an astringent quality. The Quileute chew them and put it on burns. They also boil the bark in sea water and drink it to lessen labor pains, and clean infected wounds and burns. The Makah pound the bark and put it on tooth aches or festering wounds as a pain killer.
Food Uses: Sprouts and berries eaten by all northwest coast peoples, the sprouts as an early spring green vegetable. The berries were often eaten with salmon.
Landscape Uses: Quickly spreading shrub, good in a large garden.


Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.