Jun. 23, 2021

soapberry, Shepherdia canadensis

Soapberry is a native shrub that produces oblong red about a half inch long. They are sort of edible. They're quite bitter, and contain saponins that can iritate your system. Indian use of them as food was mostly in the west. Northwestern people had a recipe for using ripe soapberries mixed with sweeter fruit to produce a frosty sweet/bitter mixture used in itself or as a topping like whipped cream. On the other hand the Blackfoot considered this a starvation food. Shown here are the tiny staminate flowers. Soapberry grows in AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, IL, IN, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, UT, VT, WI, WY, and in all of Canada. Mackanac Co MI, 5/26/16. Oleaster family, Elaeagnaceae.