Oct 28 2007
First, thank you very much for your donation Ian!
There isn’t a lot of plants suitable for human consumption in the Boreal forest. In the area we are talking about, which is at around 600 metres above sea level in the interior of Telemark county, Norway, various berries is pretty much the only plant worth paying any attention to.
The berries of this region are:
- Blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus): Very good, and extremely abundant. Stores well dried.
- Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea): A bit tart, sweeter when dried, very abundant.
- Bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum): Not as sweet as blueberry, but bigger, very abundant.
- Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum): Fairly sweet, but the skins are acrid, contains a lot of fluid, so I usually just suck them dry when thirsty and spit out the skins. Very abundant on the higher elevations.
- Juniper (Juniperus communis): Strong and spicy taste, only good in small portions or as seasoning on meat or fish. Very common some years
- Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi): Bland in taste, fairly abundant on higher elevations.
- Alpine Bearberry (Arctostaphylos alpina): Bland taste. Not so abundant, but found on high elevations.
- Raspberry (Rubus idaeus): Very, very sweet. Very abundant on the lower elevations.
- Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus): An aquired taste, sweet but also lightly sour. Some years very abundant on the higher elevations.
- Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca): Very sweet, not abundant, but exists on the lower elevations.
- Bird cherry (Prunus padus): Extremely acrid, unfit for human consumption, but according to Ray Mears’ Wild Food they can be processed.
- Wild Rose (Rosa sp): Difficult to eat because of the seeds. Better to use for tea. Found on lower elevations.
- Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia): Very tart, better if dried. Very common.
- Small Cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris): Fairly sweet and good tasting after the first frost. Quite abundant on lower elevations.
- Mezereon (Daphne mezereum): Only found rarely at lower elevation. Poisonous.
There are at least two additionaly types of berries, of which I unfortunately can’t remember either the Norwegian or the English name of. They are not abundant enough to be of much interest though. Also, there is one type of berry which remain unidentified. But this berry only grows at one specific location. Please help me with identifying it. Photos below:
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