Also known as the Western Snowberry, (I presume for their white berries- still green at this date)  these small bushes are all over the ravines.  I’ve often been disappointed to find out that what I was hoping were low-bush Saskatoons were only these.   If you are desperate and don’t eat too many, or cook them first to destroy the saponins, you can eat these berries in case of famine.  If you get greedy you could end up with vomiting and diarrhea but apparently you’d have to eat a lot to be really sick.  Moral of the story- if your toddler pops one in his mouth don’t panic.  It’s bitter so he’s also not likely to go for a repeat of it.

In fact all parts of the bush are presumably toxic though the Blackfoot and Crees, I’m told, made an infusion of the leaves and inner bark to sooth sore eyes, and gave the liquid from boiled berries to horses as a diuretic.  Why would one give a diuretic to a horse though?


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