Native Plant of the Month: Osoberry (Indian plum)

By City Landscape Staff02 Indian plum

  • Binomial Name: Oemleria cerasiformis
  • Soil Type: moist to rather dry
  • Sunlight: part shade
  • Plant Type: shrub or small tree
  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Fruit/Flower: small plums/ greenish white flowers

Indian plum is a unique shrub or tree because it is the only species in the genus Oemeria. They are usually found in understories of larger trees where they can get enough shade. Indian plums under the right conditions can reach up to fifteen feet tall.

The Indian plum is one of the first natives in the region to bloom which makes it tempting to take cuttings and bring indoors, but be wary because these flowers have an odor of cat spray. The fruits are edible and can be dried but have very large pits in them.

This Native Plant of the Month has been brought to you by the City of Beaverton’s Landscape and Urban Forestry Department along with Clean Water Services. Visit Clean Water Service’s Native Plant Finder webpage for interactive questions to help you find the right native plant to fit your needs!