Category Archives: Watermelon Berry (Streptopus amplexifolius)

Watermelon Berries

This is an informative paper byLeslie Shallcross and Marci Johnson explaining the uses of one of my favorite berries, the Watermelon Berry. Most people I have met don’t like the sweet seedy berry purely because of the skin texture and high seed content. However, I was interested in the uses of this berry in a homestyle sense instead as just a grab and go hiking snack as I usually use them for. This article walks you through storage and uses of a berry that is most often ignored.
   Shallcross, L. and Johnson, M. 2012. Watermelon Berries. Food, Nutrition, Health. Publication FNH-00123. Online: Watermelon berries Accessed: 4 Oct 2016.
This is a video by a Youtuber named Alaskan Urban Hippie. In it she explains how she acquired a Watermelon Berry plant and how to properly identify it. There are some species that look very similar while young that are not edible but poisonous such as False Hellebore. Alaskan Urban Hippie. 2016. Identifying Watermelon Berries (wild and edible).  Watermelon berry ID Accessed: 4 Oct 2016. AA Seward

Watermelon berries

Watermelon berries (Streptopus amplexifolius) are delicious and juicy, with a mild flavor. The stalk of the plant can also be eaten and has a flavor similar to cucumber. Although it has been a traditional food in its native range, I am not aware that it has ever been commercially harvested. It may be due to its preference for shady, wetter areas, or possibly because it is difficult to grow from seed.

This plant is known to grow across the circumpolar north. In Alaska it is more abundant south of the Alaska range, but I have observed it at Manley Hot Springs and have heard that it survives transplant into Fairbanks gardens.

There is a publication from UAF Cooperative Extension Service that describes how to identify and utilize the plant. Learn more about how to propagate watermelon berries at this site.