Blackcap Raspberry (Rubus leucodermis)
If you are looking for a tart and decadent treat to ward off invasive Himalayan blackberry in your yard, look no further than Washington native Blackcap raspberry (Rubus leucodermis)!
This brambly perennial shrub has powder white canes and antioxidant rich berries that turn from red to black as they ripen. Typically, this shrub can grow to be around seven feet tall. However, with regular pruning these plants can also take on a smaller size to accommodate any space.
In conjunction with its stimulating taste and striking color, Blackcap raspberry is a helpful ally in the fight against one of our region’s most persistent and invasive plants, Himalayan blackberry. Armed with protective thorns, Blackcap raspberry also can re-root wherever its canes touch the ground, making it a staunch replacement for Himalayan blackberry that is sure to help protect your outdoor space from the return of any invasives.
Want to enjoy something tasty made from these berries? Try this recipe for syrup:
2 cups blackberry juice (from approximately 1.5 quarts of blackberries)
2 cup sugar
2 cups white corn syrup
Measure juice into 6- or 8 quart pot. Heat juice to boiling; add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add corn syrup, heat to boiling, and simmer about 5 minutes. Pour into hot, sterilized jars. Seal with lids and screw bands. Place in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Delicious and reliable, Blackcap raspberry is an excellent plant to choose at this year’s native plant sale.
Chloe Steffes, 2023-2024 AmeriCorps Education Specialist
Featured Photo Credit: Aleazrocha, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons