June 10, 2017
Chicoutai, Jonesberry, Bake-apple and Cloudberry are all common names for the single-flowered raspberry relative, Rubus chamaemorus. En Quebec, le Chicoutai is a traditional fruit dans la region Cote-Nord where it is now being recognized as a super fruit high in antioxidants (Chicoutai).
East across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in Newfoundland, the fruit is the Cloudberry, a staple and taste of home to many Newfoundlanders.
On Brier Island, the same Rubus chamaemorus (chamai = on the ground, Greek; morus = mulberry) was the Jonesberry. The origin of this name is so far obscure but it suggests that the plant must have been important to warrant naming anew. Brier Islanders harvested Jonesberry from Big Meadow Bog until that landscape was ditched for an agriculture that never worked. Slowly the plant became rarer and rarer as tall shrubs overtook the low bog plants and gulls transformed the ditched bog into a weed patch.
But after the Province (DNR: Species at Risk, Habitat Conservation Funds) and particularly Environment Canada (National Wetland Conservation Fund) funded first research then restoration, the bog is being restored. This restoration was triggered because Big Meadow Bog was the most significant Canadian habitat for the Eastern Mountain Avens or la Benoite de Peck (Geum peckii) and both of these herbs of the Rose Family will be measures of success for the restoration. We will know we got the top of the bog right when we see the return of the Jonesberry, an indicator of ombrotrophic (“cloud fed” so Cloudberry is apt), low nutrient raised bog, and we will know we got the wet margins of the bog right when we see an increase in the Eastern Mountain Avens.