|Western sand cherry, Prunus besseyi|
Are you a forager?
There are a number of native plants that have edible, ripening berries at this time of year including chokecherry, currant and buffaloberry. (Although edible is a relative term---most of these fruits need a big infusion of sugar to make them palatable to modern Americans.) One of my favorites, pictured above, is western sand cherry. The ripe fruits are about 1/2" in diameter and are lustrous black in color. These native shrubs, and the dwarf cultivar 'Pawnee Buttes', are widely used in xeric landscape plantings
, so you may not have to look far to find them.
What do you forage for (Pssssst--no need to share your secret gathering spot!), and how do you prepare it?
For a good article on what NOT to eat, read this article on toxic weeds from Horticulture magazine.