Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Osoberry

I thought I had posted an image of Osoberry (or Indian Plum), Oemleria cerasiformois, last year—especially since this common shrub is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring. Perhaps my original images were out of focus. Erika and I have already seen several this spring—we came upon this one in the Nisqually national wildlife refuge on 8 March 2021.

Osoberry grows along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to California. Native people used this plant as a mild anesthetic and aphrodisiac. Birds, mammals, and various insects all feed on this plant’s flowers and berries.  Osoberry’s genus commemorates Augustus Gottlieb Oemler (1773-1852), a German naturalist from Savannah, Georgia, who first collected the species. Cerasiformis means cherry-shaped (Native Plants of the Pacific NW).

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