Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Today's Flowers

Our countryside is covered with wild blackberry bushes.  Actually they are Himalayan Berries and extremely invasive - but oh so delicious.  They are native only to Armenia and Northern Iran - but to the rest of the world they are considered to be a noxious weed and highly invasive.  They can grow up to 40 feet in one year and in our area will take over any place or any building left along for the shortest time.

In 1885, Luther Burbank - a famous California botanist brought the Himalayan Blackberry to the U.S. as a backyard plant.  Luther loved the vigorous growth and extra large, delicious fruit.  Everyone else loved it and no one complained.  But birds and animals began spreading the seeds and now it a out of control.  At first it was so popular that people couldn't get enough vines - be careful what you wish for.
 They take over any vacant field
 Hillsides
Or buildings 

 They are next to almost every road
 Luther Burbank brought us many wonderful plants - such as Elephant Garlic, Shasta Daisy and Burbank potatoes - but the Himalayan Blackberry - while fabulous for jams, jellies and pies - not to mention just dropping the berries on ice cream - it is completely out of control.

 But their fruit is delicious - and hard to get at - since the vines have very big thorns, and lots of them.  They also put out long protective vines - which can reach 10 feet in length and have to be cut away to get at the berries.



 They usually ripen in August and September and if the rains hold off the September berries are always the sweetest.  But even one good rainstorm ruins the berries  - they get moldy and soft - so we always hope for good weather in the blackberry season 
Blossom and newly forming blackberry - I can't wait.  They seem to be early this year - maybe will even ripen in July.  Get out your berry buckets!!!

8 comments:

eileeninmd said...

The blooms are pretty. We have the raspberries here growing wild. The blackberries do look delicious! Happy Saturday!

Latane Barton said...

I'm right behind you with the berry bucket! Love blackberry pie. Yum.

Rowan said...

English blackberries have similar tendencies but they are quite restrained compared to the Himalayan ones by the sound of it!

Sara - My Woodland Garden said...

What an interesting post! The plant sounds really invasive, but the berries look gorgeous.
I like very much your today's Weekly Top Shots. The first photo looks so Scandinavian. :)
Have a beautiful Sunday!

Marigene said...

Blackberries were my mother's favorite berry. While living out in the country we would take our 5 gallon milk pails and go berrying every summer. I hated it because wherever there were berries there were always snakes hanging around!
It is hard to believe those bushes grow so large and so fast...and thorny!
Hope you have good picking this year, JoAnn!

Kay said...

Burbank meant well. But I think the daisies that are everywhere around here, too, may be related to his Shasta daisies. He had a hand in landscaping the campus of Santa Rosa Jr. College where I worked for a couple of years and his gardens were a couple of miles away. The campus was really beautiful and had some glorious old trees. No blackberries, though!

KathyB. said...

I marvel that such a delicious food source can get so out of control. We have a flock of Jacob sheep and they keep the blackberries down to bare ground. If only I cold fence in the rest of the wild blackberries around our home. I do cut piles & piles of blackberry vines for our sheep though and they love them !

Interesting & informative post, thank-you.

Julie Fukuda said...

They are invasive in Oregon too, jumping the fences between properties. They are also delicious. In Japan the mulberries are considered "Junk trees" and are planted by birds. Cutting them down,just encourages more trunks to sprout from the stumps. I have to keep my eyes open because I am collecting leaves for my silkworms and you never know when a tree that is on the picking route will be cut down.