Indian Plum also known as Osoberry is a shrub classified from the family of Rosaceae and kingdom Plantae, grows up to 6 or 20 feet tall. It is 12 feet wide with fibrous roots. It needs abundant water to grow and specially found near damp areas or places nearer to stream and grasslands. They are grown all over northern California, coastal regions of British Columbia, western regions of Cascades, Canada, and Santa Barbara County. It has elliptical-shaped leaves and the flowers bloom at the onset of spring. This shrub is deciduous and prefers mild temperature and rainfall to germinate. It has the capacity to tolerate the harsh temperature of summer. The fruits are bell-shaped and have a rich scent of almond. These fruits when ripe, are often fed by birds, rodents, deer, and other animals. A female plum can produce fruit only when a male plum is close by. The male and female flowers are hard to distinguish as they look pretty similar. The only difference is that the male flowers have long pollen bearing stamens whereas the females have advanced pistils. The fruits that are bore by female shrubs are blue- black in colour, and grow less than half inches. The foliage are coloured in dark green.
Indian plum is often used by the natives of America in their diet. The bark is used in tea is considered as a remedy for tuberculosis and a medicine for proper bowel movement. The twigs are chewed as they are believed to be mild antiseptic and aphrodisiac. They are edible by humans but tastes bitter even when ripe. The fruits can be eaten raw, dried, or cooked and are good for fever. They contain high nutrients and are a dietary fibre that acts as an antioxidants for the body. The leaves are boiled and are eaten to cure diabetes. They heal kidney infections, dysentery, cough, wounds, and others.
There are no such side effects but too much consumption may lead to adverse effects. Plum contains sufficient amount of oxalates, and when consumed more they get thicken and interferes with the calcium absorption of our body. Hence it results to form kidney or bladder stones with the calcium deposits. It also contains small amount of hydrogen cyanide which in excess eating may give rise to respiratory disorders. It is best to refrain yourself from excessive consumption and is advised to take in little amount to keep a good health.
Ways to prepare
Indian plums are used in various dishes and the recipes vary accordingly. For instance Osoberry Ossobucco is made with lamb neck, onions, and red wine, osoberry sauce, white beans and oregano. This is a dish rich in flavour and is served with risotto. They are used in making liquors just my mixing vinegar, red wine, white wine, honey, or molasses and the ripe fruit. To add more essence to the drinks herbs, mints, basils, peppercorns and other spices are fused together. There are many more other tasty syrups and jellies can be made with the help of osoberries.
Oemleria cerasiformis the binomial name stands for Indian plum, are exceptionally beautiful wildlife plants. When bloom they look like hanging clusters from a single branch carrying 10 to 20 flowers. They spread slowly but much of its seeds are dispersed by birds and are susceptible to rhododendron lace bugs and fungus. They are shortly lived but have fast growing nature