June 2011

Salmonberries

Native Pacific Northwest berry

Known to botanists as Rubus spectabilis, the Salmonberry is Pacific Northwest native. In some ways, the Salmonberry seems to be a botanical touchstone for the Pacific Northwest, since it's a native resident found from Northern California's Santa Cruz county, north up to Alaska, then east towards Idaho and Montana. In Washington state, the Salmonberry especially thrives west of the Cascades. It's a low shrub, with thorns, fond of roadsides, underbrush, and swampy areas. It's especially tolerant of shade and wet conditions. Although the Salmonberry is fairly easy to propagate, its native habit is rapidly being overgrown by the non-native intrusive Himalayan Blackberry.

Scotch Broom

Ornamental Shrub or Noxious Weed?

Every spring from about mid-May to mid June a low shrub with bright yellow flowers sprouts along the highways in parts of Washington, Oregon, and parts of California. Scotch Broom (Sarothamnus scoparius) sometimes referred to as the Common Broom (Cytisus scoparius) are the same species. You can see it from quite far away since Scotch Broom tends to thrive in fairly dry, sunny areas, like the edges of highways, so there are typically long stretches of the shrub, and the bright yellow blossoms show up against the