50 Natives: Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada: Oemleria cerasiformis (Osoberry or Oregon Plum)

In response to my request for suggestions for native plants from you my dear readers, I received this lovely suggestion from Christian Bernard in Vancouver.  Christian has a great blog worth visiting.  We have a lot of states and countries to cover…so please send me your suggestions so I can feature them.

About Oemleria cerasiformis

Commonly known at Indian Plum, Osoberry, Oregon Plum or (my favorite) Skunk Bush, Christian writes:

For me this plant signals the much welcomed changing of the season, that winter is leaving us behind and spring is near. When its fresh green leaves open on all but bare branches, the Indian Plum reveals its flowers, clean and delicate. It is a very elegant appearing shrub in both branch structure and flower…When you crush the leaves a cucumber or watermelon rind scent is released.

Oemleria cerasiformis native plant from Canada
1. Indian Plum (aka Osoberry), 2. Oemleria cerasiformis (Indian plum), 3. Oemleria cerasiformis flower3, 4. Indian Plum – Oemleria cerasiformis


Often the first deciduous native shrub to flower in late winter, Indian plum is an important early season nectar source for hummingbirds, moths and butterflies, native bees and other pollinator species. Indian plum is popular for Pacific Northwest restoration projects due to its ease of propagation, rapid growth, and wide tolerances for various shade and moisture regimes. The fibrous roots resist erosion. Clones that root more readily can be employed in restoration projects as live stakes or as rooted cuttings.

USDA Fact Sheet

Christian also sent this nice picture of a modern garden design project he recently did using the Indian plum .

Christian Barnard Landscape Project

Thanks Christian!

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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