By Sara French, AMLT Research Associate

Ethnobotany is the study of the human relationship with plants. Each AMLT newsletter will highlight a native plant that is used by the Amah Mutsun. We hope you enjoy learning more about the useful and culturally significant plants all around us.

California blackberry – eenena

Rubus ursinus

Did you know that there is both a native blackberry and a non-native blackberry in California? The native blackberry has smaller, straighter, and more abundant thorns than the non-native blackberry, and it doesn’t grow so aggressively as to crowd out native plants like the non-native blackberry does. The Amah Mutsun call the native blackberry eenena, and it was traditionally considered a favorite food. The berries are becoming ripe right about now and can be eaten raw right from the bush once they turn a dark purple color. The Amah Mutsun also used the California blackberry for a variety of medicinal uses.









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