This plant grows by spreading from underground roots. Home > Edible Berries of the Pacific Northwest > Oregon Grape. Where to Find Them: This shrub thrives mostly in the shade with some sun. berries taste sour. Origins: Native to the West coast of North America, salmonberries are traditionally eaten with salmon or salmon roe by Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest. It also handles shade and moisture as well. More rugged in appearance, it is looks best planted with shorter plants around it. Caution: Consume in moderation, as these berries can be toxic in excess. They are small, smooth, round, or slightly egg-shaped. Peak Season: The plant blooms in spring and produces berries in the summer. Oregon grape was often used by several native North American Indian tribes to treat loss of appetite and debility. The dwarf Oregon-grape is very common throughout the Pacific Northwest west of the Cascade Mountains. Since this is an undergrowth plant that thrives in a temperate environment, it is hardy to USDA zone 5 and thrives in partial shade to shade with plenty of moisture. Where to Find Them: There are two types of Oregon Grape: the Tall Oregon Grape and the Low Oregon Grape. The Oregon grape is a bushy perennial plant with shiny leaves that resemble holly. One the west coast it runs form California to British Columbia including Idaho, Wyoming, and Alberta. Cascade Oregon grape is commonly found in secondary growth, under the closed canopies of Douglas fir trees. Peak Season: Salmonberries are best from early May to late July. The leaves are identifiably spiny. Where to Find Them: There are two types of Oregon Grape: the Tall Oregon Grape and the Low Oregon Grape. Where to Find Them: Found along roadsides and the edges of clearings, it can be one of the first plants to grow after a fire or clear cut. Originally introduced for fruit production, they are now naturalized and widespread throughout the Pacific Northwest and are easy to spot by their large, vigorous, thicket-forming growth and sharp spines covering the stems. Adapted to dry, open, more rocky hatitats, the Tall Oregon grape has fewer leaflets (5-9) than its cousin, Low Oregon Grape (9-19). It looks great combined with native snowberry above and through the glossy green massed leaves. Taste: Slightly sour. 3 weeks cold stratification will improve its germination, which should take place in 3-6 months at 10°c. Origins: Also known as the Whitebark Raspberry, this plant’s range stretches from the Pacific Northwest to north Mexico. Hell, even some cops can’t resist the sweet temptation of cannabis edibles. Color and Shape: Shiny, red, and round, these berries often have a small black spot at the bottom of berry—a surefire sign to not consume it! There are three main species of Mahonia in British Columbia. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Sign up for our newsletter. Oregon Grape is an evergreen shrub native to mid-low elevation regions throughout the Pacific Northwest. Low Oregon grape is a smaller plant found in the forest understory. Oregon Grape is abundant in the mountains around us, we see it every time we go on an adventure in the mountains. Where to Find Them: These berries can be found in backyards and along roadsides across the country. Its native range is from British Columbia to California and east into Idaho. They are small, smooth, round, or slightly egg-shaped. Interested in growing a Cascade Oregon grape plant? Plants grows well in the sun and large patches are known as brambles. Low Oregon Grape. They are bumpy in shape (Beware of thorns on the plant). Great In: Jams, jelly, pie, cobbler. Where to Find Them: The plant prefers moist, shady areas with a bit of sun and can commonly be found near creeks. The secret to growing this shrub is to mimic its natural habitat. (Ma-HOE-nee-uh nerv-OH-suh) Names: Low Oregon Grape is also called Cascade Oregon Grape, Cascade Barberry, Dull Oregon Grape, Dwarf Oregon Grape or Longleaf Mahonia. The good thing is that when prepared they make a fair replacement in all grape recipes from jams and jellies to wine, and juice. They look and taste nothing like a grape. Color and shape: Mature berries are most commonly a yellow-orange. Bronze-colored new growth in spring, with mounds of small, bright yellow fragrant flowers in spring, followed by clusters of … berries are about 1cm long. Oregon grape may cause blood sugar to become too low in people who are also taking antidiabetes medications. berries are suitable for casual foraging and flavouring food or drink. Hardiness and Growing Tips . varieties in the Pacific Northwest include Tall oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), Creeping oregon-grape (Mahonia repens) and Dwarf oregon-grape (Mahonia nervosa). Growing up, I experienced berry bushes’ beauty and abundance first-hand at summer camp. Grapelike berries 1/3 inch in diameter ripen in July through September and are the source of the plant’s common names, Oregon grape holly and Oregon holly grape. Can Be Confused With: Red Huckleberry- similar in shape, color, and size. Always remember, if you are not sure what the berry is, best to look it up first or avoid it altogether. They also have from 1 to 4 seeds in each tiny "grape" so there isn't much meat to them. However, with so many varieties present in the Pacific Northwest, it can be difficult to know where to start, or which are okay to eat. This summer, whether you’re on an intensive hike or just going for a walk down the street, you are bound to come across some berry bushes. These berries look much akin to blueberries; however, they taste like anything but. They look and taste nothing like a grape. berries are about 1cm long. The top selling cannabis products sold in Oregon in 2018 were all edibles, and influential companies like Netflix and Vice are capitalizing on the hype. The challenge with the species of Oregon Grape plants abundant in our area is that it is uncommon for us … Caution: The plant is poisonous, but its berries are most toxic. Younger berries may appear red. While they are edible, they are extremely tart and historically used more medicinally or as a dye than as a food source. In fact, they are very tart, but edible nonetheless. The Low can be found in relatively moist, open forests while the Tall can handle both dry open areas and moist shady areas. Or eaten as-is. Characteristics: Evergreen woody-stemmed shrubs with distinct holly-like leaves. Great in: Jams, jellies, pies, and cobblers, or just eaten as-is. Color and shape: Blue/purple. Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is a flowering herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat numerous conditions, including … There, we learned about nature, the woods, plants, animals, and conservation efforts and the camp instructor was always prepared to stop our group to point out a bunch of berries. Care is minimal; in fact, once established, Oregon grape is an extremely low maintenance plant and an excellent addition to native planted landscapes. Beyond cultivation its distribution is a bit strange. As the season progressses, these brilliantly yellow waxy flowers will become a sour, but edible berry that isn't actually a grape. The berries’ hollow shape gives them a resemblance to a thimble, although this plant has no prickles like its cousins. When it is fully grown, the shrub is between 2 to 6 feet high. The holly-like leaves make it an excellent barrier hedge. Where to Find Them: This plant thrives in both sun and shade, growing into large thickets choking out native plant life. Origins: This plant ranges from Alaska down the west coast to north Mexico. Oregon Holly Grape is neither a grape or a holly. They are smooth and round. Due to genetic similarities between Mahonia, the genus of Oregon Grape, and Berberis, the genus of Barberries, many species are shuffled between the two genera. What is an Oregon grape? Should be sown in a cold frame in late winter or spring. Can Be Confused With: Red huckleberry due to similar color and size. One of hundreds of Oregon-grape (Mahonia nervosa) plants in flower along the trail circling Deep Lake near Enumclaw, Washington. Use with caution. The dense clusters of tiny flowers, which appear in March through May, are 2 to 3 inches long and slightly fragrant; they’re Oregon’s state flower. They brought back many new species from their expedition, and this one was described to science in 1813 by Frederick T. Pursh, a German-American botanist. Oregon grape berries are not grapes nor do they taste anything like grapes. Low Oregon Grape The Barberry Family–Berberidaceae Mahonia nervosa (Pursh) Nutt. Posted on July 8, 2020 by Sarah Flower-McCraw. Where to Find Them: Similar to its relative the Evergreen Huckleberry, the Red Huckleberry can be found in moist, shady areas, often growing out of or near downed tree trunks or stumps. Native Range: One or more of the four native species of Mahonia can be found in almost every county in Oregon; common along the entire west coast and eastward toward the Rockies. Taste: Very sweet when ripe; sour when unripe. Color and shape: Dark blue, these berries are smooth and oval shaped. It is called “dull” because its leaves are not as shiny as Tall Oregon […] There is nothing better in summer than picking some right from the bush. Cascade Oregon grape is commonly found in secondary growth, under the closed canopies of Douglas fir trees. Low blood pressure: Oregon grape can lower blood pressure. They look and taste nothing like a grape. Origins: Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest are fond of this berry, often traveling long distances to gather them—eating them fresh or drying them into cakes. If you live in or have visited the Pacific Northwest, it’s quite likely you ran across the Cascade Oregon grape plant. Color and shape: Black when mature; red and green when they are still growing. Oregon Grape. Nervosa refers to the fan-like veins in its leaves. This species makes a wonderful inpenetrable hedge . Oregon grape, a native of western North America, is only grapelike in its edible blue berries. Another one of my favorite wild edibles books, Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies, states that the sour Oregon Grape berries can be eaten raw or made into jam or jelly. Himalayan and evergreen blackberry varieties, In Season: 4 Must-Try Winter Produce Recipes, Getting Through a Pandemic: One Plate at a Time. Low Oregon Grape The Barberry Family–Berberidaceae Mahonia nervosa (Pursh) Nutt. (Ma-HOE-nee-uh nerv-OH-suh) Names: Low Oregon Grape is also called Cascade Oregon Grape, Cascade Barberry, Dull Oregon Grape, Dwarf Oregon Grape or Longleaf Mahonia. Read on to learn about Oregon grape care. Caution: Toxic to both humans and animals. The spring flowers of Oregon grape in May . Dull Oregon-grape. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. (2) Berberis Aquifolium or Tall Oregon Grape , very similiar to b.nervosa only growing to heights in excess of 6 feet . As you enjoy the summer months here in the Pacific Northwest, be on the lookout for these berries in your outdoor adventures. Clustered yellow flowers with purple fruits. ; plant grows dry and/or open forests in low to montane areas. It’s use has been recognised by being adopted by Oregon State as it’s state flower. Origin: Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest have long eaten this berry, but often mix it with sweeter berries to better its flavor. Below are our picks for top Oregon edibles under … Can Be Confused With: Oregon grape as their leaves are similar. varieties in British Columbia are Tall oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), Creeping oregon-grape (Mahonia repens) and Dwarf oregon-grape (Mahonia nervosa). It's used as a tea, a cream and a supplement. Native to western North America, it can be found from the Rocky Mountains all the way to the Pacific Coast. 30 seeds from the Cascade mountains. Oregon grape is an evergreen shrub/ground cover that is slow growing and only reaches about 2 feet (60 cm.) It is an evergreen shrub growing 1 m (3 ft) to 3 m (10 ft) tall by 1.5 m (5 ft) wide, with pinnate leaves consisting of spiny leaflets, and dense clusters of yellow flowers in early spring, followed by dark bluish-black berries. berries are suitable for casual foraging and flavouring food or drink. Cascade Oregon grape plant will tolerate a wide array of soil types but flourishes in rich, slightly acidic, humus rich, and moist but well-draining soil. Cascade Oregon grape plant (Mahonia nervosa) goes by several names: longleaf mahonia, cascade mahonia, dwarf Oregon grape, cascade barberry, and dull Oregon grape. It has minimal side effects and the dosage required is convenient. (3) Berberis Repens or Creeping Oregon Grape , a low spreading shrub found east of the Cascades . The Low can be found in relatively moist, open forests while the Tall can handle both dry open areas and moist shady areas. This plant is an extremely common undergrowth plant, so common that Lewis and Clark collected it during their 1805 exploration of the Lower Columbia River. Most commonly the plant is simply referred to as Oregon grape. Otherwise it is a low-growing, shrubby plant with persistent, hollylike leaves. Not only does Oregon excel at thoroughly enjoyable edibles—they’re dedicated to affordability, too. The low variety (Mahonia nervosa) can be found out in the woods fairly easily as it tends to be more wild. (Ma-HOE-nee-uh nerv-OH-suh) Names: Low Oregon Grape is also called Cascade Oregon Grape, Cascade Barberry, Dull Oregon Grape, Dwarf Oregon Grape or Longleaf Mahonia. It was sufficiently common that Lewis and Clark collected it on their 1805 visit to the Lower Columbia River. The Cascade Oregon Grape is commonly found in dry slopes common understory plants in Pacific Northwest, can... 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