Blackberry - Himalayan
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Himalayan Blackberry.
Rubus armeniacus
Blackberry - Himalayan

Acquired: 1974
How started:
Source: Wild seedling, from birds or other critters

Rubus armeniacus is native to the Caucasus region of Eurasia, and was introduced to the Pacific NW of the United States in the late 1800s for cultivation. It is now a seriously invasive plant in the Seattle area.

This plant came with the property, planted decades ago by the birds. In the early 1950's, the land was a plant nursery, and when that was abandoned, the birds brought in blackberry seeds. The rest is history.

For all the damage this plant does, you really can't beat the flavor of a big bowl of sun-ripened blackberries in late summer. In my garden, the berries have an intense, spicy flavor. The smell they give off in the hot sun is so enticing. The leaves can be dried and used for tea.

It is difficult to grow good wine grapes in Seattle, but a carefully crafted dry blackberry wine can rival many red wines. A friend from Italy took a bottle home to share with his wife. He said they couldn't believe the wine was made from blackberries. I think my blackberry wine tastes like a Merlot.

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