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DESPERATELY Seekig Bakeapple/Cloudberry

January 4, 2006


I do not live in Canada; please forgive my forum faux pas in ettiquette by being an "outside poster". I have been a garden web member for 2 months, and I find the people here very helpful, with lots of iteresting ideas and information. I am from New England--Massachusetts. We plat to move to Maine upon retirement; so, we'll at least be closer to all of you then! My husband has many cousins in Canada.

I am looking to buy Bakeapple (also known as Cloudberry). I like growing all kinds of berries, and I have been trying to add berries from more Northern climes, and from other countries. Last year, I got Honeberries (from Siberia). We homeschool our 2 children, and I open our exploration of other countries through the plants.

I have found only 3 places on-line through searching: 2 in Canada, 1 in USA. One in Canada has added me to their waiting list. The other only mails 2 of their plants (peonies & wysteria), the other plants--one must visit to purchase and pick up. The one in the USA, no luck.

If anyone can tell me where I could order them--or anthig more about them, I would really appreciate it!

Thanks so much!


Comments (25)

  • ldymacearle

    hello Robin...

    I am in Nova Scotia... the Cloud berry is prevalent in Newfoundland hon ... try searching "cloud berry suppliers in newfoundland"


  • keeson

    I think cloudberries bakeapples only grow in the wild in Atlantic Canada especially Newfoundland and Labrador. I have never seen any cultivated ones. Perhaps there are some though. They are also found in the Scandanavian countries, I believe.

  • Lilliputin

    My grandfather always said they use to pick bake apples down on the south shore of NS. They are also suppose to be up in Cape Breton. I've not personally ever come across any...course have not been looking either. No idea who would sell them, probably a heritage or native plant nursery.

    The botanical gardens at Acadia are suppose to specialize in native plant conversation, they might have an idea who to contact [ http://botanicalgardens.acadiau.ca/ ] someone from the NS Association of Garden Clubs might be able to help you out as well...their web address is: http://www.nsagc.com/index.html
    they have a "links" page that has the phone numbers to several commerical plant nurseries within the province.

    let us know if you find a distributor for them

    all else fails try writing to the Canadian Gardening magazine suggesting they do an article on the Bake Apple Plant. They probably have a list of fabulous resources for just such things.


  • Lilliputin

    One last suggestion is to try contacting the Botanical gardens at Memorial univeristy in newfoundland [ http://www.mun.ca/botgarden/home.php ] They would probably be a good resource of info on where you can purchase the plants....whether they'd know of a place that sells them out-of-province/country....no idea, but thought I'd mention. Some of the american universities might also have some ideas if you contact their horticultural departments, especially the more northern ones, perhaps even some place in Alaska would be helpful

    again, good luck. let us know how you make out.


  • don_brown

    Bakeapple, Rhubus chamaemorus, is a member of the bramble family, which includes blackberries and raspberries. Unlike its tall relatives, it is a small plant which typically bears only a berry or two at a time. They grow wild on peat-bog lands throughout the northeast of North America, heavily in Newfoundland, but I have seen them also in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The plants are small enough to be overlooked all season until late summer/ early autumn when their amber orange berries appear. Obviously, they will grow from seed....so if you could get some fresh or frozen berries...you could get some growing! Or, if you make a field trip to a peat bog in the Fall, you could pick some.

  • marbles_n_the_garden

    I used to be Robin282 on GW, but since iVillage made changes, I cannot log into that ID anymore.

    In any case, I wanted to update folks on my progress. This was the most difficult plant to track down. I was able to get some seeds from Norway, and from a US germplasm bank that got its seed from Russia.

    Upon receipt of the Norway seed, I have tried to look up cultivation instructions to no avail. Finally, the germplasm bank seeds arrived with instructions. Wow, is this going to be a challenge! After a bleach treatment (very hard coat), and warm stratify, then cold stratify, then light germination--using proper techniques and as sterile a batch of materials as possible, allow 60 days for germination after the 3 months of the warm, and 3 months of the cold.

    Probably more than you wanted to know, but wish me luck!

    BY THE WAY, I'd still tke plants of I could get them...


  • sheryl_ontario

    Have you tried to search the members trade lists? You might get someone with these plants to trade. you can do that at the link below:

    Keep in mind that transporting plants into the US can be tricky. Maybe you can have them sent to someone in Canada and drive across the border to pick them up?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Members trade list

  • hcokeyboydave

    here's one for ya that might yield immediate and easier results. Go on the net and find a couple of small town chambers of commerce web sites. They'll have contact info on them. Make an informal inquiry (as opposed to requesting a business) about who in their area may be harvesting bake apples this coming season. They'll be happy to give you contact info or at least have aperson get in touch with you. That person (the harvester) could jusy ship you some cloudberries, possibly dry and almost certainly in jam form (my fave).

  • marcie_luvs_flowers

    Hello Robin282!
    I come from a place where bakeapples are prevalent (the Lower North Shore of Quebec). I personally don't know if you would ever be able to get a bakeapple to grow in a domestic garden. If you could see where they grow on the wild you would probably be disheartened. It's peat bog and marsh all the way. Believe me I know, I picked enough of 'em growing up in those parts. I believe the cool coastal breezes also have a big impact on the way they grow. I don't want to burst your bubble but it would probably be easier to make some friends in Newfoundland or on Quebec's Lower North Shore and get them to send you some jam!

  • marbles_n_the_garden

    Hi Marcie and others! I want to thank all of you for the responses. Like I had said, I did get some seed. I have not had luck yet sprouting any, but I plant to winter sow them in the coming year. I got some excellent instructions with the germplasm group. However, I am not completely confident.

    I think plants would work better. We are surrounded by the ocean here--although I am not on the immediate coast. My field is boggy, and sphagnum peat grows there amidst the grass. Several rubus species grow wild in my field as well. I think it would be possible to grow cloudberry there.

    Ultimately, we will move to the Main coast, and I plant to have a small berry farm. I know they will grow there, they have wild populations in Acadia National Park--from the maps I have seen.

    I figure if people can grow difficult orchids or roses, I can manage cloudberry in a section of yard that rubus plants love--at least I hope so. I know they grow on the barrens in Canada, but I have seen photos of their locations in the nordic counties, and it is different--more like my field.

    I am grateful for everyone's efforts, and I am still desperately seeking the plants. Please feel free to update or e-mail me.

  • bakeapplepicker

    I was born in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia and picked bakeapples as a child in the boggy areas where they grew. I hear they are next to impossible to cultivate.

  • marbles_n_the_garden

    Hello Again,
    I am still looking for the cloudberry/bakeapple. I Have gotten most other Rubus species that I have been looking for including, dewberry, wineberry, tayberry, thimbleberry, and salmonberry--in addition to the red, black, and gold rasperries I have.

    I have gotten seed for the cloudberry, but I have, as yet, not been successful getting it going. I will continue trying. Clouberries do grow in north-eastern New England, and there are reprts of them in a place or two on Cape Cod (where I am from), but I have not personally seen any. The local Univeristy here has to be measured every year for sinkage--that is how moist & soft my town is. It is a filled-in marsh in many places.

    I do have a prostrate raspberry growing in my field. It will only grow on the elevated area of the field that gets full sun. Next to it the ground slopes to a place that floods very briefly with a heavy spring rain--but the plant does not venture there. I believe the clouberry would like this are too. The soil is acid because the field (not large at all) is completely surrounded by blue spruce. Spagnum grows well there--enough for me to harvest to start seed in or use in plantings to cover soil.

    The thing is, I would really like to try. I enjoy an almost impossible challenge. Each year, I choose a challenge plant to grow. This coming season will be cloudberry's 3rd year at it. I do grow other things that I have been told I cannot grow. These challenges make gardening interesting for me. I am having so much trouble getting the seeds going that I really would like to get the plants. If the plants won't grow here, then the point of seeds is moot.

    Please keep the suggestions and responses coming because I am still looking...
    Thanks to all,

  • vbtrocks

    If you are not having any luck in finding/growing cloudberries, I might suggest a related variety that grows on the west coast called salmonberry (rubus spectabilis). I have found that it is a good substitute in scandinavian recipes that require cloudberries. It is called salmon berry because the blooms come out at the time of salmon runs and the fruit changes from golden to a bright red (like a salmon's belly during spawning). Unlike the cloudberry, salmonberry plants are easily grown in moist and peaty regions. You can get the seeds from suppliers like the one I have attached.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Native Seed Network

  • rjinga

    Hey Robin,
    I too recently set out to find bakeapple plants, and I did find a grower (it turns out it was a very old post)from an internet search and found the link to her nursery. I called this lady and asked her about the plants he said that all of her efforts (over several years) in attempting to grow this plant commercially for introduction in home gardens was futile. She went into great detail about all the controlled environment and controlled temperatures etc and the settings that were tried and failed. She basically stated like several here have stated, they require a near Artic chill with very long chill hours that are impossible to replicate anywhere in the US, and very specific growing conditions, (ie: the marsh and bog type enviroment). She said that even if you can germinate or propogate the plants, they do not survive and never bore fruit.

    My mom is from Newfoundland where of course these plants are found and boy oh boy theres' nothing better than bakeapple jam...I'm sure this wont be any consellation to you, but IKEA does sell cloudberry preserves, and it's the real deal. I gave a sampling to my "Newfie" mom and it was confirmed to be authentic tasting ;)

  • sunnybun

    Hi I live in Newfoundland zone 5b and there are cloudberries growing on the side of the highways . Of course it does grow in a boggy area but I usually pick them every year in late summer when the berries are ripe. I could take cuttings or even pull some plants out of the ground since they are low growing . Let me know if you`re still looking and at the end of the summer I can send you some plants or cuttings.


  • marbles_n_the_garden

    I am still looking for seeds & plants just as desperately.

    Last spring, I got a sandwich bag full of cloudberry seeds from a generous man in Alaska. I left them in the fridge until August. I then took them out, treated some with bleach, treated some with geribellic #&*% acid (I can never spell that), and sanded them, & planted them then, at the end of the summer. I figured the cold (only) stratification didn't work, so I tried a warm, then cold strat. A few days ago, I noticed sprouts, but I wasn't sure if they were cloudberry. Then, a second leaf came out, and it looks like cloudberry! I am just thrilled that I accomplished something that so many have said could not be done! Out of a whole asndwich bag FULL of seeds, only a few dozen have sprouted. I am happy with that. Then I read if you can sprout them, they won't make it. I am going to try to do my best to see that they do.

    Meanwhile, I would still like to get more seed to continue experimenting with sprouting the things, and I really hope to get plants because I read that from seed, it takes 7 years to get fruit! Yikes!

    If anyone can provide either seed or plants, PLMK. I still want them. I'll pay postage. I am also trying to get seed or plants from a variety of places so that I can have good genetic diversity.

  • lainerb


    It's amazing to realize that what you have easy access to is an exotic treasure to someone else. I am from Alaska and have nearly no need to garden cloudberries as I can pick several gallons of them a year if I set my mind to it.

    Anyway, I would be more than willing to attempt to send plants to you if they survive the transport. I am not certain what the best method of sending a live plant would be so we should discuss the best means possible. I'll try to select plants for you that produce larger and more flavorful fruits. I could also send you live plants of neigoon(rubus arcticus) if you would like.

    Finally, do you have any rubi that you could trade that would do well in zones 5b-7a? I love the species native to my area but would always love to try other variations on the flavor of my favorite genus of fruit.

  • sunnybun

    I've done some research on the propagation of cloudberry. For the plant to have a chance of surviving , you need about 2 ft diameter of the turf around the plant for best survival and that will not ensure that it will survive. You also need both male and female plants for pollination. You can also use the tubers from the plant but need 20+ cm of it. The seeds are the best way to get them growing. Stick them in the ground in fall and leave them. Sometimes they don't come about til the second year. I will collect seeds for you in the fall from many different plants to make sure you have both male and female seeds. Maybe you'll get some jam too,lol.

  • formoreaction

    just make sure that once You reciece either the seeds or plants that You get both SEXES... otherwise You will end up having a stand of cloudberry which will bloom but gives no berries... there are couple of cultivars with both female & male parts in the same flower as I know of.... one in Norway and on here in Finland... but my guess is that they are not easy to come by in the norther-america....

  • mytime

    Marbles_n_the_garden, did any of your sprouts survive?

  • woody64

    Hi,if your still interested in those bakeapples I can send some plants to you if you like?There are lots just behind my house.Let me know what you want piked,how you want them dug up(alot of moss or just plant)and how to tell the sexes so you get both before the frost sets in.

  • theloud

    Forgive me for hijacking a cloudberry thread, but if what you want is a berry from cold climates, there are other options. I'm growing Arctic Raspberries in my zone 5 garden, and they're doing fine in ordinary soil. I got the plants from Raintree in the US.

    Here is a link that might be useful: arctic raspberries at Raintree

  • pappygal

    Cloudberry plants grow very well in Penobscot County Maine, I brought plants back from Northern Quebec while visiting my family in Eastern QC. I have transplanted them 2 times and they are healthy and spreading but no fruit yet..

  • tanyarussia
    Hello from Russia, Saint-Petersburg! =) I am growing a cloudberry from seeds at home now as an experiment. =) First photo is November,5, the second one - November,12, and the last one - November, 26.

  • Bill Brox

    Well, this is an old thread, but I just found it today. Anyway, I see people try to cultivate cloudberries and say it is difficult, and the plant carries no berries.

    A little background about myself. I am born, grew up and lived in northern part of Norway. Since the cloudberries have a high content of vitamin c, it was special laws for this berries in northern part of Norway. It was heavily regulated and if you picked an unripe cloudberry you could at least be heavily fined by the police.

    I am not a scholar of any kind when it comes to berries, just loves to eat them. But, picking the berries was a major event in the place we lived.

    I have been told that the cloudberry plant does not carry berries before 7 years have past. And, the deal with the unripe cloudberry that is red is that when you pick it, you rip off the leaves that grips the berry, and the plant is then useless again, and then it takes 7 years before it comes a new berry there. Since the cloudberry had such an importance for people living so far north with far less veggies and fruit, the laws was strict. It was a matter of life or death for people. A bit like stealing a horse from someone in the wild west, you were pretty doomed then.

    When the cloudberry gets ripe, the leaves that holds the berry, releases the grip of the berry, and opens up giving free access for your fingers to just pick the berry. So, it is a smart plant, and for those who are greedy and can not wait, they ruin the plant so they will not get anything the next summer. So, the plant punish those people. :-)

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