Indian Plum (Osoberry) and Birding by Ear and Owl Prowl March 25-28

  Spring is here and one of our native shrubs is in full bloom: Osoberry (formerly known as Indian Plum), scientific name Oemlaria cerasiformis.  With small clusters of white flowers and bright yellow-green spring leaves, this shrub is common everywhere in our area.  It is one of our first native plants to flower, and one of the first to set its fruit...fingernail sized


purple "plums" in clusters by mid May.  The fruit tastes like cucumber but the pit is large and the flesh thin, so you have to pick several to get anything to eat.  Interestingly, this shrub has male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious) and the two flowers look quite similar.  There is however, a way to tell them apart...just sniff the flower: female flowers have a cucumber-like odor, male flowers smell like cat urine!

My week's schedule is two Birding by Ear outings: Friday in Discovery Park at 9:00 am, and Sunday in Magnussen Park, also 9:00 am.  Friday, March 26th Owl Prowl in Seward Park at 7:30 pm.  Hope you can join me!

Ed 

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