Indian Plum: Or, Cucumber Berry

Oemleria cerasiformis

Indian plum, unripe

Indian Plum, Oemleria cerasiformis, is a native shrub that is currently fruiting in the local forests of Portland. The berries are edible and, when ripe, taste like cucumber. They have a very large pit in the center.

The berries shown in the photo here are not yet ripe. The ripe ones are blue-purple in color and look like this.

When it doesn’t have its berries, you can identify Indian Plum by crushing a piece of a leaf and inhaling, because it, too, smells like cucumber.

Indian Plum grows from 1.5 to 5 meters tall and tends to show up on the sides of trails in forests with some partial sunlight at lower elevations. It has alternate leaves. It is found throughout the West Coast in Canada, Washington state, Oregon, and California.

In other news, this blog has a fantastic new resource in the form of the new Search Plants! page, which now has 50 plants listed. It’s an index of plants I’ve covered here on First Ways. Click their names (not the photos) to read posts about them. And if you find it helpful, please tell your friends about it! I’ll be adding more plants all the time.

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Then learn many more wild plants of spring at my new Search Plants! page.

5 thoughts on “Indian Plum: Or, Cucumber Berry

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  2. I’m pretty sure I found this in a park by my house in Seattle.. berries smell like cucumber, alternate leaves. Are there any look-alikes that I should be aware of? Thanks! Love your blog!

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