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Pests and Weeds

Blackberry stalk
Summer 2021

Bullying blackberries

The blackberries are not what they seem.

They seem native, growing wild wherever they want, thriving along riverbanks, roads, railroad tracks, and trails; inside state, county, even Seattle city parks.

These abundant berries—great for pie and jam—are synonymous with summer in Washington state, particularly on the west side, where they take over greenbelts and backyards, abandoned lots, urban alleyways, and logged lands.

They grow, as it were, like weeds.

Emphasis on weeds.

Himalayan blackberries (Rubus armeniacus) are not only not native, they’re invasive. And they’re not actually Himalayan.

Call them the state weed of Washington. The plump, juicy, deep purple, and delicious weed of Washington.

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