What kind of berry/bush is this?

Asked July 7, 2019, 12:51 PM EDT

We were camping in the Okanogan National Forest just outside Winthrop and there were two of these in our dispersed camp spot. We didn’t eat them, because we know better, but I haven’t been able to figure the bush out. One was quite large, probably 10-12 ft high, and the other was no taller than about 3 ft. Thanks for the help!

Okanogan County Washington

2 Responses

Thanks for your question!
I can't tell for certain what the plant is without seeing it in person. You can cut a small sample with berries, leaves, and buds, to take to a local Extension office. They can often help with native plant identification. If you are in Okanogan, you can find out more about them here: https://extension.wsu.edu/okanogan/gardening/
If you are just curious and want to look up more information, you might try researching serviceberry, which is in the genus Amalanchier.a member of the rose family I'm making this guess based on the fruit, which appears to have the remnants of the blossoms still attached, similar to rose hips, hawthorn berries, or apples. If it is serviceberry, the fruit will turn darker red to purple when ripe.
There don't appear to be any thorns, and you didn't mention them, which would eliminate hawthorn. The leaves also don't have lobes like hawthorn.
Serviceberry has leaves in this shape and the edges of these leaves are partially serrate and partially smooth toward the base. Obviously this is not conclusive, but it might get you on the right track.
Here is a link to a list of plants in the Okanogan National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_053201.pdf

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any additional information to consider. Happy Camping!

Thank you for your answer!