WINEBERRY (Rubus phoenicolasius) (family Rosaceae): This berry was originally introduced to the United States from Japan, but has escaped from gardens and naturalized in the mountains. The wineberry has very long trailing, or arching, canes, with orange-red hairs along the stems. These canes distinguish the berry bushes easily from other types of berries; they look similar to rose plants. The tri-divided leaves are velvety to the touch and whitish on the underside. White flowers with five petals are followed in late June and all of July by bright red, translucent berries that taste sweet and slightly tart, but unlike other berries. Many people mistake them for raspberries because they are similar in appearance, but wineberries are bigger, redder, shinier, and they taste better.

I have only found wineberries in some wooded areas in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, where they often grow quite profusely. However, I believe they grow other places as well (presumably Japan?); a berry poster made in Watsonville, CA, includes wineberries. They are very rare, and as far as I know cannot be bought. I have never heard of wine made of wineberries, but I bet it would be a good idea.

http://wineberry.net has a picture of wineberries.

Wine"ber`ry (?), n. Bot. (a)

The red currant.

(b)

The bilberry.

(c)

A peculiar New Zealand shrub (Coriaria ruscifolia), in which the petals ripen and afford an abundant purple juice from which a kind of wine is made. The plant also grows in Chili.

 

© Webster 1913.

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