Seasonal Almanac

Start of winter: Water begins to freeze (2 of 5)

May 7th, 2009

Start of winter 2 of 15Redmond ventured up to the Escarpment today for a photographic expedition. When I returned home, he presented a number of specimens for my perusal. One was a fungus that is still awaiting identification; the other was a collection of wild raspberries.

On close examination of the fruits, their appearance clearly indicates a notable difference from the European Rubus. Sure enough, they turn out to be Atherton Raspberry (Rubus probus or Rubus fraxinifolius), a native plant to Queensland. Like their European counter-part, these plants can become invasive with running roots (as they have done in part of the escarpment).

The fruiting plant is often marketed as a delicious and productive alternative to the Rubus idaeus that can grow in warmer climates. Not having bred for humans’ taste, they simply not altogether too palettable. As one website says disappointingly, ‘There are seven different native raspberries but all of them suffer, to one extent or another from either insipidness, dryness, tartness or hard seeds.’ Very unfortunate for us.

2 Responses to “Start of winter: Water begins to freeze (2 of 5)”

  1. 1 Silvia kwon
    May 15th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    At least they look beautiful!

  2. 2 jolaw
    May 17th, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    All true berries are high in anti-oxidants and the freshly picked soft fruits just can’t be beat. In our research, we were disappointed that we can’t really grow berries in the coastal region as they prefer the cold highlands (or inland areas). When Redmond first reported that there were raspberry growing up in the escarpment, we were most excited.

    Some people do grow them and use the fruit for jams. For me to go to the trouble to make perserve though, I have to be excited about that the food and I am afraid that all the anticipation just left me a bit down on them.