22 Edible Berries of the Pacific Northwest: Recipes Included - North West Chefs (2022)

Edible Berries of the Pacific Northwest

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest, you know that our region is home to some of the best berries in the world. From the tart and tangy huckleberry to the sweet and succulent raspberry, there’s a berry for everyone to enjoy. In this article, we’ll share 20 of our favorite edible berries that can be found in the Pacific Northwest, as well as some delicious recipes to help you make the most of them. Whether you’re looking for a new breakfast idea or a way to impress your dinner guests, we’ve got you covered.

The Black Currant


The black currant (Ribes nigrum) is a member of the Grossulariaceae family, and is closely related to other currants such as red and white currants. The plant is a shrub that typically grows to around 1-2 m in height, and produces small, dark berries. The berries are rich in vitamins and minerals, and have a tart, slightly sweet flavor. Black currants are native to Europe and Asia, and have been used in folk medicine for centuries. The most common Pacific Northwest variety is Ribes hudsonianum or the Northern Black Currant.

Black Huckleberry


Vaccinium ovatum, also known as the evergreen huckleberry, is a species of huckleberry native to western North America. It is a small shrub, growing to 1–2 m (3–7 ft) tall, with oblong-elliptic leaves 2–5 cm (0–2 in) long. The flowers are white, 5–7 mm (0–0.3 in) diameter, with five petals. The fruit is a dark blue berry 5–10 mm (0–0.4 in) diameter, containing 10–20 seeds. The evergreen huckleberry is found in the forests of western North America, from southern British Columbia to northern California. It is a common understory plant in coniferous forests, and is often found in Douglas fir forests. It is also found in coastal rainforests and redwood forests.

Blackberry


Rubus armeniacus, also known as the Armenian raspberry or Armenian blackberry, is a species of Rubus native to western Asia and southeastern Europe. In the Pacific Northwest, it is found in the Cascade Range and the Olympic Mountains, as well as in the Willamette Valley and Puget Sound region. The fruit is black, round, and about 1 cm in diameter. The plant is a perennial, and typically blooms in May or June. The fruit is ripe in July or August. The Armenian raspberry is considered a nuisance species in the Pacific Northwest, as it is an invasive plant that can crowd out native vegetation. It is also a problem because the fruit is very tart and not very palatable. However, the plant is used as an ornamental in some gardens. I love this berry and use it often in restaurants.

22 Edible Berries of the Pacific Northwest: Recipes Included - North West Chefs (1)

Cloudberry


Rubus chamaemorus, also known as the cloudberry or bakeapple, is a member of the rose family. It is a low-growing herbaceous plant with a creeping root system and branched stems that can grow up to 60 cm tall. The leaves are palmate, with five to seven lobes, and the flowers are white or pale pink. The fruit is a red or orange berry, about the size of a raspberry, that contains numerous small seeds. Cloudberries are found in the northern hemisphere in cool, moist habitats such as bogs, marshes, and forested areas. In the Pacific Northwest, they are most commonly found in Alaska and British Columbia. They are also found in northern Europe and Asia. Cloudberries are an important food source for many animals, including bears, foxes, and birds. The fruit is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and is used to make jams, jellies, and syrups.

Cranberry


The Vaccinium oxycoccus is a type of lowbush blueberry that is native to the Pacific Northwest. This shrub is found in the coastal regions of Oregon and Washington, as well as in the interior of British Columbia. The Vaccinium oxycoccus is a small shrub that typically grows to be about 2-3 feet tall. The leaves of this shrub are elliptical in shape and are dark green in color. The flowers of the Vaccinium oxycoccus are white and have 5 petals. The fruits of this shrub are small, round, and blue in color. The Vaccinium oxycoccus is an important food source for many animals in the Pacific Northwest, including birds, bears, and humans. The berries of this shrub are high in nutrients and antioxidants, and they are a favorite food of many animals. The Vaccinium oxycoccus is also an important medicinal plant. The leaves of this shrub are used to make a tea that is said to be helpful in treating colds and flu. The berries of this shrub are also used to make a syrup that is said to be helpful in treating coughs and bronchitis.

Crowberry


Empetrum nigrum, also known as black crowberry, is a native shrub to the Pacific Northwest. It grows in open to partially shaded areas in forests, on stream banks, and in coastal areas. This evergreen plant has small, black berries that are eaten by birds and small mammals. The berries are also used to make jams, jellies, and pies. Empetrum nigrum is a low-growing shrub that typically reaches a height of 1-2 feet. The leaves are small and leathery, and the stems are covered in small, sharp spines. The plant produces small, black berries that ripen in late summer and fall. The berries are eaten by a variety of birds and small mammals, and they are also used to make jams, jellies, and pies. Empetrum nigrum is a valuable plant to the Pacific Northwest ecosystem. The berries provide food for wildlife, and the shrub provides shelter and nesting sites for birds. This hardy plant is also tolerant of salt spray and wind, making it an ideal plant for coastal areas.

Elderberry


Sambucus caerulea, also known as blue elderberry, is a deciduous shrub that is native to the Pacific Northwest. This shrub typically grows to 6-12 feet tall and has blue-black berries that are edible and often used in jams, jellies, and pies. The flowers are white and blooming typically occurs in the spring. Blue elderberry is a valuable plant for both humans and wildlife. The berries are an important food source for many birds and small mammals, and the shrub provides shelter and nesting sites for birds. The flowers are a nectar source for bees and butterflies. This shrub is also a popular choice for landscaping due to its attractive berries and flowers.


Fairy Bell


Hooker’s fairybells is a popular ornamental plant, grown for its decorative flowers and foliage. It is also used in native plant and wildflower gardens. The plant prefers moist, shady conditions and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types. It is generally disease- and pest-free. Hooker’s fairybells is a beautiful and versatile plant that is well-suited to a variety of garden settings in the Pacific Northwest. It is easy to grow and care for, and provides interest throughout the growing season.

Golden Currant


Ribes aureum, commonly known as golden currant, is a species of currant native to western North America. The species is widespread in the Pacific Northwest, where it is a common understory shrub in moist forest habitats. Golden currant is a multi-stemmed shrub that typically grows to 3-6 feet tall. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, and lobed with 3-5 lobes. The flowers are yellow and borne in clusters of 3-5. The fruit is a blackcurrant. Golden currant is an important food source for a variety of wildlife species in the Pacific Northwest. The fruit is eaten by birds, small mammals, and bear. The shrub provides valuable cover for birds and small mammals. Golden currant is also used as a landscape plant in the Pacific Northwest.

Gooseberry


Ribes divaricatum is a species of flowering plant in the genus Ribes, native to western North America. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–2 m (3–7 ft) tall, with a dense, twiggy structure. The leaves are alternate, simple, and 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long and 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) wide, with a serrated margin. The flowers are white or pale pink, 5–8 mm (0.20–0.31 in) diameter, borne in racemes 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) long. The fruit is a dark purple or black berry 5–8 mm (0.20–0.31 in) diameter, ripening in late summer. R. divaricatum is found in woods and forest edges in the Pacific Northwest, typically in moist soils. It is a common understory shrub in Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests. It is also found in mixed coniferous forests, often in dense thickets. It can become invasive in some habitats.

22 Edible Berries of the Pacific Northwest: Recipes Included - North West Chefs (2)

Wild Strawberry


Duchesnea indica, also known as Indian mock strawberry, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family. It is native to eastern Asia, but has been introduced to many other parts of the world, including the Pacific Northwest. D. indica is a creeping herbaceous perennial with runners that can reach up to 3 m in length. The leaves are alternate, simple, and 3-7 cm long. The flowers are white or yellow, with five petals, and about 1 cm in diameter. The fruit is a red, fleshy berry, 5-10 mm in diameter. This plant can be found in a variety of habitats, including forest edges, meadows, and disturbed areas. It is often used as a groundcover or ornamental plant in gardens. D. indica can spread rapidly and is considered to be invasive in some areas, such as the Pacific Northwest.

Mulberry


Morus alba is a deciduous tree that is native to the pacific Northwest. The tree grows to a height of 30-40 feet and has a spread of 20-30 feet. The leaves are alternate, simple, and ovate with a serrated margin. The tree is dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female trees. The flowers are small and greenish-white, and they are borne in clusters. The fruit is a blackberry-like drupe that is about 1/2 inch in diameter. The tree blooms in May and June, and the fruit ripens in August and September. Morus alba is a popular tree for landscaping in the pacific Northwest. The tree is tolerant of a wide range of soils and sites, and it is resistant to drought and salt spray. The tree is also tolerant of pollution and urban heat island effect. The tree is generally free of pests and diseases. The wood of Morus alba is hard and strong. It is used for furniture, flooring, and other woodworking projects. The tree is also a source of food for wildlife. The fruit is eaten by birds and small mammals, and the leaves are browsed by deer.

Oregon Grape

Mahonia aquifolium, also known as Oregon grape, is a species of flowering plant in the barberry family. It is native to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada, where it is a common understory plant in coniferous forests. The Oregon grape is an evergreen shrub that typically grows to 1-3 m (3-10 ft) in height. It has pinnate leaves with 5-9 leaflets, and clusters of yellow flowers which give way to dark purple berries. The Oregon grape is an important food source for many wildlife species, and the berries are also used to make jams, jellies, and wine. The Oregon grape was first described by Lewis and Clark during their expedition to the Pacific Northwest in 1805-1806. The plant was used by Native Americans for a variety of purposes, including as a food source and for making dyes and medicines. Today, the Oregon grape is still an important plant in the Pacific Northwest, where it is a symbol of the state of Oregon.

Prickly Pear Cactus

Opuntia fragilis, also known as the brittle prickly pear, is a species of cactus that is native to the pacific northwest region of the United States. This cactus is easily identified by its small, round pads that are covered in sharp spines. The pads of the Opuntia fragilis are a light green color and they are connected to each other by a thin layer of tissue. The flowers of this cactus are yellow in color and they bloom in the summer. The fruit of the Opuntia fragilis is a small, red berry that is edible. The Opuntia fragilis is a drought-tolerant plant that can grow in a variety of habitats. This cactus is often found in open, dry areas such as deserts and grasslands. The Opuntia fragilis can also be found in woodlands and forests. This cactus is adapted to survive in areas with little rainfall. The Opuntia fragilis has a deep taproot system that helps it to access water deep in the ground. The Opuntia fragilis is an important food source for many animals. The pads of this cactus are eaten by animals such as rabbits, deer

Raspberry

Rubus pubescens, also known as the hairy raspberry, is a native plant in the Pacific Northwest. It is a member of the rose family and can be found in damp woods and along streams. The hairy raspberry is a trailing or climbing plant with long, hairy stems. The leaves are divided into three to five leaflets, and the flowers are white or pink. The fruit is a red or black raspberry. The hairy raspberry is an important plant in the Pacific Northwest. The leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, and the fruit is an important food source for many animals. The plant is also used in landscaping and as an ornamental plant. There are a few types found in the PNW.

Red Huckleberry

The Vaccinium parvifolium, also known as the red huckleberry, is a species of huckleberry native to the west coast of North America. It is a small shrub, growing to 1-2 m tall, with small deciduous leaves. The flowers are white, bell-shaped, and borne in clusters of 2-5. The fruit is a small, red berry, 1-2 cm diameter, ripening in late summer or fall. The red huckleberry is found in the forest understory of the Pacific Northwest, from southern Alaska to northern California. It is a common component of the coastal forest ecosystem, and often forms dense thickets. The berries are an important food source for a variety of animals, including birds, small mammals, and bears. The red huckleberry is also an important traditional food for many Native American peoples of the Pacific Northwest. The berries are often used in jams, pies, and other desserts, or simply eaten fresh. They are also a key ingredient in the traditional Native American medicine known as ‘smoke’.

Salal Berry

22 Edible Berries of the Pacific Northwest: Recipes Included - North West Chefs (3)

Gaultheria shallon is a member of the Ericaceae family and is native to the Pacific Northwest. It is an evergreen shrub that can grow to be 6 feet tall. The leaves are oval shaped and the flowers are white. The fruit is a red berry that is edible and has a high vitamin C content. Gaultheria shallon is used for a variety of purposes including as a food source, for making wine, and for its medicinal properties. Gaultheria shallon is a common sight in the Pacific Northwest. It is often found in forests and along roadsides. The berries are a favorite food of many animals including birds, bears, and deer. The plant is also an important part of the diet of the indigenous people of the region. The berries can be eaten fresh or made into jams and jellies. They are also used to make wine. Gaultheria shallon has a long history of use in traditional medicine. The berries are used to make a tea that is said to be helpful for a variety of ailments including colds, flu, and stomach problems. The leaves can be made into a poultice and applied to the skin to help heal wounds. The plant is also said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I love these berries.

Salmon Berry

The Pacific Northwest is home to many native plants, including Rubus spectabilis, also known as the salmonberry. Salmonberry is a member of the rose family and is closely related to the raspberry. It is a deciduous shrub that typically grows to about 6 feet tall. Salmonberry is found in moist, forested areas throughout the Pacific Northwest. It is a popular plant for wildlife, providing food and shelter for a variety of animals. Salmonberry gets its name from its salmon-colored fruit, which is about the size of a raspberry. The fruit is edible and has a sweet, tart flavor. Salmonberry is often used in pies, jams, and other baked goods. The plant is also a source of food for a variety of animals, including birds, deer, and bears. In addition to its edible fruit, salmonberry has a number of other uses. The plant is used for a variety of traditional medicinal purposes. The bark and leaves can be made into a tea that is said to be helpful for digestive problems. The roots can be used to make a dye that is used to color clothing and other materials. Salmonberry is a versatile plant that has many uses. It is a valuable asset to the Pacific Northwest ecosystem and is an important part of the region’s food web.

Service Berry


Amelanchier alnifolia is a deciduous shrub that is native to the pacific Northwest. It is a member of the rose family and is also known as the saskatoon berry or serviceberry. The shrub is characterized by its small, white flowers that appear in early spring, followed by edible berries in late summer. The berries are a favorite food of birds and other wildlife, and the shrub provides shelter and nesting sites for many species. Amelanchier alnifolia is a popular landscaping plant in the pacific Northwest, due to its attractive flowers and berries, and its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

Wood Strawberry

Fragaria vesca, also known as wild strawberry, is a species of strawberry native to Europe, Asia, and North America. In the Pacific Northwest, this species can be found in open woods, meadows, and along roadsides. The wild strawberry is a small, herbaceous plant with a short stem and trifoliate leaves. The flowers are white, with five petals, and the fruit is a small, red drupe. The wild strawberry is an important food source for many animals, including birds, small mammals, and bears. The fruit is also consumed by humans, and is often used in jams, jellies, and desserts. In the Pacific Northwest, the wild strawberry is a popular ingredient in pies, cakes, and other baked goods. The wild strawberry is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions. It is found in many different habitats, from forests to meadows to roadsides. This flexibility allows the wild strawberry to thrive in the Pacific Northwest.

Sumac


Rhus glabra, or smooth sumac, is a common shrub in the Pacific Northwest. It is a member of the Anacardiaceae family, which includes poison ivy and poison oak. Smooth sumac is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 6 feet tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, and oblong-shaped with serrated margins. The leaves turn a bright red in the fall. The flowers are small and green, and they grow in clusters. The fruit is a red drupe that is eaten by birds. Smooth sumac is found in open woods, forest edges, and disturbed areas. It is a native plant to North America.

Thimbleberry


Rubus parviflorus, also known as the thimbleberry, is a native plant of the Pacific Northwest. This plant is a member of the rose family and can be found in many different habitats, including forests, meadows, and even along the coast. The thimbleberry is a perennial plant and can grow to be about 6 feet tall. The leaves of this plant are large and palmate, and the flowers are white and have five petals. The fruit of the thimbleberry is a red or blackberry that is about the size of a thimble, hence its name. This fruit is edible and is often used in pies, jams, and other desserts.

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