Wineberriescomments (34) July 19th, 2009
Here’s an invasive plant you might end up liking. The wineberry, an Asian species that has taken hold here in Connecticut and elsewhere in the Northeast, is found along roadsides, at the edges of meadows, and yes, all over my yard. The canes are thorny and have a reddish-purple, somewhat furry appearance. The fruit, red when ripe, grows in clusters and looks something like a raspberry but is more luminous, and when you pick it you see a distinctive orange cone left on the cluster.
Wineberry produces fruit on second-year canes, and the fruit is surprisingly tasty served fresh or turned into a sorbet or a cooler. Try using wineberries in your favorite raspberry recipes. Wineberries are tarter than raspberries, so you might want to increase the sugar.
Wineberries ripen about the same time as raspberries and black raspberries, so if you have all three, you’re going to be busy picking. You can get away with picking wineberries every other day, but every day is better.
Like its close relatives the raspberry and black raspberry, wineberry has long arching canes that will root when they come in contact with the ground. Birds eat the berries and disperse the seeds, so one patch can turn into many patches in a few short years. The good news is that the plant is easily managed.
As with other cane fruit, remove the fruit-producing canes after they have produced, either immediately or sometime during the winter, and cut the first-year canes back to about waist height. You can get rid of unwanted plants simply by pulling them up. This can be done without gloves, but you will have battle scars.
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