Indian Plum, Oso Berry (Oemleria cerasiformis)

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Native from the west coast of British Columbia throughout most of California. Found in the wild in either relatively highly forested areas in part or high shade or north slopes in fairly moist partial shade, sandy topsoil, clay subsoil. Oso Berry is an attractive deciduous shrub to small tree, usually between 10-20 feet tall. Oso berry flowers at the same time as Ribes species(very early spring) and make a good mix with them. Flowers are like many natives, usually males on one plant and females on others, except on good years then you will find both on the same plant. (Redundancy in native systems is common.) Crushed foliage smells like a green watermelon. The inch (1cm) fruits don't have much meat on them, but the trees can produce heavy crops, and the flavor is special (a mix of cherry, blueberry, olive, and cucumber). A great choice for riparian zones and shade, this shrub is an excellent wildlife plant. Waxwings and robins eat the fruit, and Anna's hummingbirds use the nectar. Allowed to grow into a thicket, Indian Plum provides cover and nesting sites. It is a valuable restoration plant. Use it along stream banks, in a woodland. Usually suckering, especially in moist sites, and suckers can be removed to control spread. Plants can be rejuvenated by cutting out the oldest stems to the ground or cutting all stems to the ground.

Hardy to zone 4.