Appalachian Food Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

Wild Berries That Grow In The Southern Highlands Of Appalachia

Wild berries in western nc
This time of the year, I start checking on the Blackberries that grow wild around my house-they are just now beginning to ripen. A recent email from a reader of the Blind Pig got me to thinking about the other wild berries that grow here.

Dewberry
Dewberries are similar to Blackberries-in appearance and in taste. Dewberry brambles are smaller than their cousin the Blackberry-Dewberries also have more of a twining vine look to them. Around my house-Dewberries grow in the same areas Blackberries do-as in across the road from each other. Although Dewberries are just as tasty as Blackberries-they don’t usually bear the same quantity of fruit that Blackberries do.

Wild blueberries
Of all the berries-Blueberries are hands down my favorite. If nothing happens-the ones I have planted in my yard look to hold the biggest harvest I’ve ever gotten-I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

Lucky for me-Wild Blueberries also grow around my mountain holler-and they’re all ready ripe. I found the little patch above growing along the bank of Steve’s (my brother’s) driveway-kinda selfish-but I haven’t told anyone else-cause I’m eating them all by myself. And I’m hoping by next year the Wild Blueberry bushes will multiply-then maybe I’ll share my secret.

Huckleberries
Huckleberries are similar in taste to Blueberries-but they are much smaller-and don’t get ripe till later in the season. Huckleberries grow all around my holler-but especially up on the ridge behind my house. The little patch above is growing along the trail leading from Pap and Granny’s house to ours. When Chitter and Chatter were younger I used to watch for them when it was time for the school bus-they had a pretty far piece to walk. During the first weeks of school-I knew they’d make pit stops at the huckleberry bushes that grow along the trail-eating their way home.

Another common berry around my house-Gooseberries. I went to the bush I remembered being near Pap’s garage to get a picture-but it’s no where to be seen. I believe the last time the EMC trimmed they must have gotten it. Gooseberries are a greenish color-shaped like Blueberries. They have a sweet taste but not as sweet as Blueberries.

What kind of wild berries grow in your neck of the woods?

Tipper

 

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Tim
    February 10, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    They are called wineberries. The genus and species is rubus phoenicolasius…they are native to eastern Asia and were brought here in the late 1800’s to cross-breed with domestic raspberries. I’ve come across some wineberry plants growing wild here in southeastern Virginia and they are absolutely delicious.

  • Reply
    Susan Drummond
    July 13, 2016 at 8:20 am

    My father-in-law also calls them shuckberries. He lives in southern Ohio, and they grow all over the place there. Delicious.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 23, 2016 at 11:25 am

    We gave blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries, mulberry es that I know of that grow wild, oh also strawberry

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 23, 2016 at 11:25 am

    We gave blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries, mulberry es that I know of that grow wild, oh also strawberry

  • Reply
    spring
    June 14, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    In addition to all mentioned above I also have wild black raspberries, mullberries, and ppl say muscadine grows here too. One of my favs is my black raspberries 🙂

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 5, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Diana-sorry I don’t know a source for the berries. Call your local county extension office or feed store and they might be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck!
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    diana
    February 4, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Where can I but a wine berrys or shuckberrys

  • Reply
    grace
    August 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    oh wow, this is so helpful! we were just in north carolina before & after this year’s rainbow gathering in tennesee, & were picking these LOVELY delicious berries & i could only wonder what they were, as i have never seen them in Minnesota, where i am from! up here we have salmon berries (golden raspberries), blackberries, black raspberries, red raspberries, gooseberries, elderberries, wild grapes, mulberry trees::: & up north a littler further you will find the most amazing thimbleberries & saskatoon (june berries) as well as wild blueberries!
    anyways, these wineberries or shuckberries, will always stick with me, they are my new favorite apart from thimbleberries, which i DID find in the same area as the wineberries! my daughter loved them in her yogurt! they were the most loving, sparkly, inviting berries i have ever come across:) thanks for all your information,
    & i have been also listening to this wonderful playlist ALL DAY!
    so much love
    grace

  • Reply
    Abri B
    May 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Oh, those chuck berries look luscious! I’m going to Kentucky to backpack, and I love berries!

  • Reply
    Steve
    April 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Those berries in question are called wineberries as an earlier poster mentioned. Rubus phoenicolasius is an invasive plant from Asia that now seems to be everywhere in the mid-Atlantic and South. They’re a bit seedy but have a wonderful sweet-tart flavor.

  • Reply
    G.A.B
    September 2, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Hey there! What you’re caling shuckberries, I call wineberries. Hope that helps.

  • Reply
    Laura
    November 9, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I ordered a Baba raspberry plant about two yr. ago. It looks like the mystery berry in the picture .The berries are very small and in clusters.The plant will grow 10’tall and droop from the weight of berries. VERY GOOD BERRY (invasive plant).

  • Reply
    warren
    July 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    We are wearing out the wild blackberry patches right now here in WV. I remember picking huckleberries as a kid in PA also…and teaberries!

  • Reply
    Lanny
    July 1, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Wild,cultivated and gone wild berries are amazing, the range of flavor is a delight to the taste buds. Our berry season has yet to start (okay some strawberries are finally red!) but once it does it is endless until late September and the last of the black berries.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Tipper your berries look so good!! I love all berries but my favorite is strawberries and blueberries and blackberries and raspberries and OH! I love them all.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    June 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Now, you’ve got me thinking! We have wild berries here that I thought were blackberries, but maybe they are dewberries? We also have wild plums and muscadines.

  • Reply
    Roger Hartley
    June 28, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I did some more research on the “mystery” berries in the picture…and those I ate the last few days. Pat in East TN is correct. They are wineberries!
    I learned that they are native to Korea, Japan, and China. They were introduced in the late 1800s (or got here somehow) and they now stretch all the way up to NH and East Canada…down to the mountains of NC.
    They are apparently a “problem”. Invasive plant that is crowding out traditional appalachian native plants.
    While its a “problem” the only problem I am having is how to pick them before others on my mountain find them (grin).

  • Reply
    Farmchick
    June 28, 2010 at 9:03 am

    We have tons of blackberries that grow on our farm. I planted blueberry bushes, but they are not very prolific. I would love to have some of those wine berries, on our farm, for something different!
    My husband has told me that when he was a kid, he and his twin brother would pick blackberries and fill a couple of five gallon buckets. I can’t imagine.

  • Reply
    meemsnyc
    June 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Score on the berries. You can’t beat free yummy fruit!

  • Reply
    Roger Hartley
    June 27, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I hope we get a definite answer on the mystery berry. They don’t quite look like or tast quite like a raspberry. I just literally found some and ate a ton with my wife and boy. YUMMY. What the heck are they?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 27, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Mmmmm, I just love berries of all sorts.
    We haven’t gone blackberry picking because of the chiggers (red bugs). Speaking of which does anyone know how to treat your yard for them. We have been so overrun we can barely go outside. I’ve raked all the leaves and we spread Bug B Gone, but no help.
    Sheryl

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    June 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Love, love Blueberries!! We have a couple small bushes of huckleberries growing alongside our driveway and blackberries on the other side.
    I remember going blackberry picking. We’d follow the creek, have to watch out for snakes, took our trusty collie, Sally, along with us. come back with purple fingers.
    Patty H.

  • Reply
    Leslie @Farm Fresh Fun
    June 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Love the post (as usual) and am delighted to see a verification of what I was told those berries are: wineberries! Hubby’s best friend is a “VA Tech serious type farmer” 😉 whose family had farmed for generations and sold at farmer’s markets… Whenever I’m stumped by a plant’s identity I ask him. Eric said his mom called them wineberries.
    If I ever get my Mac fixed I’ll be back blogging w/a zillion waiting posts n pics… The one I have ready on making hay includes pics of our wineberries that I stop n eat while changing out hay wagons!
    Just wish my blueberries had done better… Enjoy yours!

  • Reply
    georgie
    June 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Blackberry can be quite invasive here. Berries won’t be ripe until midAugust. I have a salmon berry bush in the backyard, the few berries it produces are delicious. Berries look like salmon roe.

  • Reply
    Apple
    June 27, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I thought my little berries that grow along the edge of the woods were just small black berries but I’d never heard of dewberries so maybe that is what they are. They always seem to grow along with poison ivy!
    We expand our strawberry patch a little each year and this year was a great year but very early. We also have wild strawberries that grow all over and if we get to them before the critters we just mix them in with the bigger ones. Berries are one of the best parts of summer!

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    June 27, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Tipper: I love to eat the wild berries. We have mostly Black Berries, Elderberries and Black Raspberries in the wild. Black Berries are my favorite.

  • Reply
    Connie
    June 27, 2010 at 12:23 am

    My son has been picking blackberries every year since he was a little boy. He just loves his pie every summer!!! Since we are in the city, he picks his on any country road he can find.
    My Grandma used to take us to Dolly Sods in W.Va. every summer. We would pick huckleberries all day long. It took a long time to fill a bucket, but we thought about the tasty cobblers we would have. I’ve also picked them at Big Meadows on Skyline Dr. in Shenandoah National Park, Va. They do allow you to pick in that one spot each year.
    Grandma made jelly/jam out of all the berries you mentioned. Thanks for the graet berry picking memories.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    June 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Anastasia-I wish you lived closer and I’d share my berries : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    June 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Where I lived in western NC, the old-timers used to call those red raspberry looking berries, wine berries. They grew wild on our land, but seemed to move around every few years. They were sweet and very tasty!
    We have blackberries here in east TN, along with elderberries.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    June 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Since there are no woods in our neck of the woods, there are no wild berries. : )
    People around here grow blueberries, dewberries, and blackberries though. I have every intention of digging up my boxwoods and replacing them with blueberries this fall.

  • Reply
    Becky
    June 26, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    I’m not any help to Richard either.
    We have wild blackberries and wild strawberries here on the farm. Over where my Dad used to live there grew boysenberries. They are similar in looks and taste to blackberries, but bigger.

  • Reply
    Anastasia
    June 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    If only I could take those berries out of your photos and eat them! I love berries – all sorts. Unfortunately, they don’t grow in Cyprus, so the ones we get are imported from the UK. In Switzerland there are plenty but they usually grow there in late August or early September. As a student in Switzerland, I’d eat all sorts: blackberries, dewberries and blueberries are my favourite but I also love rasberries and gooseberries.
    At this time of year in my area, there are cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines,figs in late July. And , of course, the king of our summer fruit: water melons! But now all sorts of fruit are available all year round at supermarkets. When I was little, each fruit marked a season: oranges, grapefruit and tangerines in winter, strawberries in spring, cherries, apricots, grapes, nectarines, peaches, figs, melons and water melons in the summer, pomegranate in autumn, bananas and apples all year round.

  • Reply
    John Dilbeck
    June 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Tipper, I love wild berries.
    Blackberries are good, but I’ve been scratched too many times picking them to really want to do it.
    Blueberries are my favorites, by far.
    Mom and Dad had a great patch of blueberries and Mom loved making fresh blueberry muffins. I loved, loved, loved them.
    We sold their old homeplace this spring and this will be the first time in over 25 years that I haven’t eaten big fresh blueberries out of their patch. It’s something that I miss almost as much as I miss them.
    All the best,
    JD

  • Reply
    betsyfromtennessee
    June 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Looks like Raspberries to me—since we have something similar here in TN. My favorite –hands down–is Blackberries —although I love Raspberries also… Blueberries are my LEAST favorite berry.
    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    June 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    berries,berries, i love em all. out here in the pacific n.w. we have many of the berries mentioned. but my personal favorite ,are merionberries they are a cross between a boysenberry and a little mountain blackberry, plus the grow great in my back yard. blessings all. k.o.h

  • Reply
    Nancy Wigmore
    June 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Oh did this ever bring back memories of my childhood. Blackberries (Briarberries as we called them) and wild blueberries grew out in the edge of the woods where we lived growing up. Mama and us younguns spent many a day especially during the summertime picking these delicious berries. Sometimes, I think we ate more than ended up in the bucket. Oh what fun we had, even though we did get eat up with redbugs! Thanks for sharing this today!

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    June 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Hey Tipper: Those huckle berries seem to get ripe here (East TN) at the same time as our blue berries! In fact yesterday we had a combination of them over our morning cereal in the ‘Garden of EVA!’
    The last black berry cobbler my mama fixed for my daddy holds such a precious memory for me. After desert daddy told mama, “Well that will be the last cobbler you will fix for me!” Just a few days later he died!
    My blueberry patch was created in honor of my THIRD grandson’s birth! Now we have to build a JAMES WIKE FORT around the nine bushes with PVC pipes and bird netting to keep the birds OUT! Yesterday morning we picked two cups of blue berries. One cup we had over our cereal and the second cup I just washed and left on the counter. By mid-afternoon that THIRD grandson and his brothers/mama showed up at my house. I said, “Hey Connor, there is something on the counter especially for you!” When he saw his blueberries his eyes lit up like magic! So berries can be special in all kinds of ways!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Janet
    June 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    they look like raspberries to me, too. My son picked some last year that looked exactly like those. They were delicious. We have the blueberries, dewberries, blackberries and raspberries here. We have these wild strawberries that keep growing in our yard. I read somewhere where they taste better than regular strawberries, so we ate one. I didn’t like them at all, didn’t seem to have any taste to it. My tame blackberries got hit hard with a couple of freezes this past spring and my crop is going to be a lot skimpier this year. I love picking blackberries!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    June 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Love the berries……
    Looks like a wild red raspberry
    to me…
    We have a non-native (Japan-China) invasive berry (1830)called the Autumn Olive…the berries ripen in the fall and are at their tastiest after the first light frost, if you can get them before the birds…
    They were planted for wildlife habitat and reclamation of strip mines and shelterbelts….
    I have made jelly and sauces with the berries…
    They are high in locopene and said to be 18 times as much lycopene as tomatoes….
    But the shrub can get out of hand…there are a few folks out there premoting the value although invasive of the health benefits of the berry…
    My neighbor down the road has a small stand of wild Albino Blackberrys…very rare…I am hoping to borrow a few ripe seeds and or a side cutting and try to start some…
    We have wild blackberries, wild black raspberries, dewberries, and on the hill very short bushes of wild blueberries…of course one of my favorites..is the Mulberry but can never get many because of the birds…There are huckle berries around here but not on our place….

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    June 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    We have a berry like Richard’s — all I know is that it’s some kind of raspberry.
    Lots of blackberries and wild raspberries around here. Some wild strawberries and lots of elderberries (wine or jam.)

  • Reply
    sandra
    June 26, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I have picked blackberries, dewberries, gooseberries, strawberries but never blue berries. i did not know they grow wild. I love all of the above with blackberries 1st and strawberries 2nd. when daddy used to put me in a strawberry field in KY, I put one in my bucket and one in my mouth. yum and thanks for the memories.

  • Reply
    Jeremy
    June 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Great post! Wild berries are such a treat. I’m from eastern Oklahoma and we always had a lot of wild grapevine and strawberries around my house.
    I’m afraid I’m no help to Richard.

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