Forage Friday #63 Wineberry

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Wineberry 62320a”. All of the photos found on my blog are my original work and are available for purchase or license by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Please remember that my Forage Friday posts are only intended to be a conversation starter and all the information is presented as trivia. While wineberry is simply one of the best tasting raspberries that you will ever encounter in your life and is as safe as any raspberry I am not a doctor nor a certified herbalist. That means that I am not endorsing any treatment and only covering the topics as trivia or history.

The big blue truck turns into the old parking lot. It’s Not really been used as a parking lot for decades so there are holes in the pavement that would swallow most normal cars. I stopped because I noticed that the roses left behind when the clinic on the other side of the road was abandoned were in bloom. They’ve mixed with several invasive vines and give the old cut stone the look of an ancestral fortress.

As I turned back to truck I noticed the prize humbly waiting at the other end of the lot. The lush green leaves are waving in a light breeze and revealing the white underside. The canes bristle with thorns that look as though they could deter Satan himself.

The thorns of the Wineberry.

Appalachia has always been known for it’s crop of brambles. The characteristic canes of undomesticated varieties always have thorns to one degree or another. But wineberry takes it to the extreme. Fortunately, the majority of the thorns are fine and hair like so they don’t really penetrate the skin. There’s enough of the larger stiffer thorns though to make protection worth the effort.

Wineberry is awesome. The taste is kinda like wine and some people say the flavor reminds them of pomegranates. The older darker berries will be the sweetest of course. The berries in tonight’s post are not quite fully ripe. Unlike regular raspberries wineberry seems to hold the light making it look like they have a glow of their own. They’re pretty much used like native raspberry in jelly, syrup, covered in cream or fresh in the field. It’s well known that raspberry ketones seem to have the ability to keep the body from retaining fat. And a few online articles state that wineberry seems have a higher density of these ketones. However, this is something that I have to do a little research on myself. In fact, wineberry is a fairly new plant to me. It’s invasive nature caused people in my area to aggressively keep it away from their lands and instead chose to favor the less invasive native berries. Wineberry comes to us form Asia and like many Asian plants tends to find the perfect habitat in our mountains. It’s also believed to harbor a virus that’s dangerous to native raspberries and blackberries.

Image Titled “Wineberry 62320b”

When the fruit is removed the cone shaped pith is left behind. In image “Wineberry 62320b” you can also see the papery husk that protects the berry until it’s ripe. The formidable looking husk soften a little when the berry is ready for harvest.

Image Titled “Wineberry 62320c”

The leaves of the wineberry are used in the same way as other raspberries. They are astringent and used to combat diarrhea. It’s my belief that any astringent leaves can be used in the same manner as witch hazel. Raspberry has the added benefit of being able to be used in teas and carry a multitude of vitamins and minerals.

Wineberry self propagates by “walking”. The tops of the cane fall over and take root forming a natural clone of the parent plant. Birds absolutely love wineberry too and unless you can cover it a net to keep them out you’ll be up against stiff competition. If the berry contains viable seed it will be spread by the birds. In fact wineberry is so prolific that it’s illegal to cultivate in many places. So that’s something that you’ll need to check out before making any plans for transplanting.

That’s going to be it for tonight’s Forage Friday post. Have you ever used this berry and have a recipe to share? Let me know in the comments section. 😊

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