Osoberry (indian-plum, Oemleria cerasiformis)

 (Indian-plum, or osoberry) is a shrub native to the Pacific Northwest. The berries of the osoberry start out a peach color and turn to blue-black with a white bloom. The indigenous groups would eat them in small quantities, and were sometimes called ‘choke-cherries’ due to their bitterness, and thus were eaten with other plants to offset to the bitterness. The twigs of the osoberry would be chewed up and the resulting paste made a great pain decreaser.

 

Its leaves are alternate and thin, light green and deciduous between five and twelve centimeters long, and the leaves smell like cucumber when crushed. Flowers on the osoberry are white-green, about a centimeter in diameter, with five petals and fifteen stamens, arranged in series of three. They are fragrant and usually appear early in the year, sometimes before the leaves.

 

  • Leaves thin and alternately arranged, long and oval-like
  • Leaves between 5-12 cm long, smell like cucumber hen crushed
  • Flowers are white-green, 1 cm in diameter, 5 petals and 15 stamen
  • Berries start out peach and turn to black-blue
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