Black cap raspberry AKA White bark raspberry
Native to Western North America
The berries ripen July-August.
I always find this plant growing in disturbed areas where humans have been - the sides of roads, trails, old clear cuts - and where the hot summer light reaches the floor almost all day.
The berries are hard to pick without getting jabbed by the prickles covering the stems. Their texture and flavor is rather dry and bland relative to red raspberries, but they are excellent additions to fruit leather and pies, and are pleasant as a trail snack nonetheless.
The leaves are packed with vitamin c and can thus be used in tea while you're out in the bush (Plants in the rose family often have this same characteristic). If you are to harvest leaves of plants, make sure that you don't take more than you need - think ahead and harvest sustainably. If there is only one, or markedly few plants of it's kind in the vicinity, leave it be (💚🌱 Respect our native plants 💚🌱).
🌾 Learn about invasive medicinal plants and forage those first. 🌾
Rubus armeniacus, or the common Himalayan Blackberry is a noxious weed in Washington state. It spreads aggressively and has severe impacts on wildlife, including native plants. This well- established non-native is also in the Rose family and it's leaves can be harvested for tea, it's delicious berries for tasty home recipes, and it's flowers eaten in salads or used as garnishes in lovely summer beverages or meals. Also, blackberries are useful in making purple dye.
Black cap raspberry is a native I love to find. It is a joy to live in a region with such a wide variety of berry-producing species, and finding them each year is like paying a visit to a lifelong friend.
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