Mahonia (Berberis) fendleri, Viburnum lentago

hemnancy(z8 PNW)June 20, 2010

High Country Gardens says Mahonia fendleri tastes like tart cherries. Has anyone grown it who would like to comment on the taste, or on Nannyberry, Viburnum lentago? It gets pretty tall, is it hard to trim lower?

Do voles bother these plants for you?

Any other native berries that you like?

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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I haven't tried Mahonia or any native Viburnums, but I have some other suggestions...

My favorite native berry is the Thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus, a member of the raspberry family. They are very delicate and easily squished, but I like the flavor even better than that of raspberries. I used to live where they grew wild but I moved to warmer climes and I miss them terribly.

Huckleberries are also tasty, as well as Elderberries. And I think that native strawberries are way better than the cultivated kind, although they are much harder to find.

I've heard of several more kinds of wild berries but haven't tasted them so I can't attest to their yumminess.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 10:58AM
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renataka(Bay Area CA)

I believe these are the same thing sold as Barberries or Zereshk at Persian and Middle Eastern grocery stores. They look like tiny dark red currants and I've only seen them dried, never fresh. I wouldn't eat them right off the bush - much too sour, but my absolute favorite Persian dish is Zereshk Polo, which is grilled chicken kebab over this amazing long grain rice that's got butter, saffron, salt and the zereshk barberries mixed in. The zereshk are as sour as cranberries, but play really well against the salt and the butter -much like adding golden raisins to rice pilaf, but not as sweet.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:10PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Wow, it's been a long time since I started this thread. Peachymomo, I have wild thimbleberries. They are good for a short time then stop, and yields are very low. I'm not looking for other fruits, I'm interested in barberries at present. I think the Zereshk variety is not very hardy and not sold here. Some of the other more palatable ones are also hard to find and also are non-natives and not as hardy.

B. fendleri is a native, though not present in my area. An advantage to barberries is they are armed with stickers or spines which may help to protect the berries. They are pretty in bloom and also seem to bear the berries all along the length of the branches so can be quite productive. I'm sorry not to get any answers from people who have actually grown them.:-(

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 5:22AM
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