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elíle (Salmonberry)

Salmonberries are found near the edges of the forest, usually near meadows and riverbanks. A mature plant can be over two metres high and very bushy. These berries get their name from their roe-like appearance, as they occur in small ball-like clusters similar to that of salmon roe (eggs).

Salmonberries are the first berries to ripen in the Fraser valley in mid-May. This often coincides with the first sockeye runs, possibly also contributing to the development of the name of the berries. Salmonberries are often eaten fresh but are also preserved using a variety of methods, such are drying on mats (the berries are not made into cakes as they are far too juicy). This plant is also a source of young shoots, which are eaten in the spring, and leaves, which are used for teas. The salmonberry is known to aid with indigestion (which often accompanies the consumption of too much salmon).

Images

(138.9 KB)Salmonberry bush with berries.
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