Watermelon berries are a seasonal wildberry that grow in Alaska and other places that have cooler summer climates and stay relatively moist in certain areas.
Watermelon berry plants look like short lilies without flowers
Watermelon berries are actually part of the lily family, which becomes quite obvious when you look at the plant’s leaves.
Watermelon berry plants don’t like direct sun or hot temperatures. Whenever I’ve found them growing wild, they’re in very moist, shady areas nearby a river, marsh or creek, similar to harvesting fiddlehead ferns.
Watermelon berries are totally edible and taste lightly of watermelon. I think they taste like super watered down watermelon koolaide – sweet, refreshing, light flavor.
Watermelon berries are full of seeds
Watermelon berries are packed with cream-colored seeds.
Watermelon berries have so many seeds, I really don’t enjoy eating them directly from the plant, but that’s just my opinion.
In the photo below, I chewed up a berry and spit it into my hand so you could get an idea of the approximate seed size and color.
Size of watermelon berries
When you’re trying to identify the berries themselves, they’re about twice the size of a standard Tic-Tac when they’re ripe.
One berry grows directly off each individual leaf. They don’t grow in bunches.
The skins are fairly thin and have a touch of matte/mustiness to them, like blueberries, that rubs off. The center of a watermelon berry is also very plump with juice, like a blueberry.
Uses for foraged watermelon berries
Watermelon berries can be eaten in most of the same ways as any other wild berry, but here are some ideas on how to use them. Just keep in mind that they’re juicy, don’t have a lot of color (compared to raspberries, anyway), and do contain noticeable amounts of seeds.
Syrups, jellies & jams
Watermelon berries are the kind of berry that you’ll want to strain before making syrups, jellies or jams, otherwise the seeds will likely be a nuisance. All three of those things would be delicious with watermelon berries, though.
Breads or baked products
I’ve heard that some people bake them directly into breads or wildberry muffins and the seeds aren’t as noticeable.
Fresh berry juice or frozen treats
If you can harvest enough berries, you can also make watermelon berry juice from them (strained, of course). And whenever you’ve got juice, you can freeze it into tasty fruit pops.
I might also try them in salads – I bet that if you have a few other salad ingredients, the seeds would be add a nice texture paired with a vinaigrette dressing.
However you choose to eat your watermelon berries, have fun trying new recipes. :)