It is all too common, when hiking in the woods, that those wild berries growing alongside the trail look so appetizing. Unfortunately, more often than not, those attractive wild berries will cause nothing but stomach problems. However, a savvy explorer will know that a few delectable treats can still be found tucked away in the wilderness. Edible berries can be found nearly anywhere.
The salmonberry is a beautiful salmon-colored berry found on the West Coast of the United States from southern Alaska through California. These raspberry-like berries can be found growing wild from May through July. They grow in large thickets and are occasionally bright red.
The thimbleberry grows throughout most of the United States, except for the southeast region of the country. Thimbleberries resemble raspberries but grow much broader and are not as glossy. The thimbleberry is ripe when it turns a brilliant shade of red in mid-to-late summer.
With over 30 varieties of the elderberry, this plant can be found throughout all of North America. Elderberries are a member of the honeysuckle family and have a surprisingly sweet taste. Elderberries grow in large bunches on bushes. Most commonly, elderberries are dark blue, purple or black and boast an impressive glossy shine. Elderberries ripen from midsummer into early fall.
Huckleberries, among the tastiest wild berries, grow solely in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. They are related to blueberries, although their taste is quite different. A huckleberry appears to be a small, dark blueberry. Huckleberries grow in dense thickets and ripen in mid-to-late summer.
There are two types of blackberries that grow wild: trailing blackberries and Himalayan blackberries. These wild blackberries look much like cultivated blackberries but are smaller. Wild blackberries grow throughout the United States and ripen between July and September. Be cautious of their thorns.
Oregon grapes have a grape-like appearance, but they grow on bushes that resemble holly more than a vine. The Oregon grape grows predominately in the Northwest region of the United States. These berries appear to be blue or purple and look like they are covered in a powder. Oregon grapes can be found from May to July.
Indian plums grow along the Pacific Coast. The Native Americans once believed these edible berries had medicinal properties. Indian plums ripen to a dark-blue or plum color and grow in an interesting hanging cluster. They are edible for only a short time between May and June.