Prunus americana

ROSE FAMILY (Rosaceae)

This native shrub or small tree usually spreads by root sprouts to form thickets (E). It is one of the first shrubs/trees to bloom. The winter twigs end in numerous smooth, pointed buds (B). The white flowers, with 5 petals, appear in tight clusters (C). The fruit is an oblong or globe-shaped plum, first green, then pink or reddish by August (D).

Grows along forest edges and open areas, flowering in April and May. In Fontenelle Forest, rare and decreasing, one along Hidden Lake Trail, not far from the Blind (A). At Neale Forest, rare along the edge of Koley Prairie; a few along the northern boundary along County Road P-40.

Ths fruit was highly valued and eaten fresh or dried by local Native Americans. The Omaha timed planting corn, beans and squash to the blooming of the Wild Plum.

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