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I recognize domestic flowers tend to be more complex and colorful than their native counterparts. But, I truly enjoy examples of the simple elegance of their heritage.
One of my favorite early spring wildflowers is the salmonberry, a member of the rose family. Its fruit color is often orange or orangish-red, where I suspect the name salmonberry was derived.
The salmonberry bush can be found on the west side of the Cascade Mountains throughout the Pacific Northwest. I often find it on moist hillsides and along streams.
What draws me to the salmonberry is its beautiful flower consisting of five pink to magenta delicate petals. The magenta flowers are dramatic in bright sunlight.
In late spring it is common to see the berries on bushes at lower elevations on hikes, while the bushes are still in bloom 1-2,000 feet higher on the same trail.
I have also heard the berry has numerous medicinal properties, but have never tried eating one.
The bloom’s esthetic beauty is what attracts my attention every springtime.
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