Unidentified Shrub

Asked July 9, 2020, 12:40 PM EDT

Can someone identify this shrub? I've found no match in several online databases during the past 2+ years. Baker City extension office staff were unable to identify it in 2018 & 2019. I've found dozens of plants along Cracker Creek Road near Sumpter. I've never found flowers on any plants but now know they bloom in Apr-May because I found berries on a plant for the first time on 16June2020 after 3 years of searching; they are very small, initially green with gray spots, turning red in July; there is a single seed about 1/3 of the berry. Four bracts on the end of the berry suggests the flower has 4 petals; berries are mostly in pairs and grow at top of previous year wood. Leaves are deciduous, opposite; each new pair emerges 90 degrees from last pair. The plant grows 1-4 feet tall, 1-5 feet broad; most plants along the road grow in partial shade. Used by deer for browse; the only plants found on the mine are heavily browsed, less than 1 foot tall. Leaves and 1st-year stems have many dark spots, assumed to be stomata. See attached photos of stems, leaves and berries. I have more photos. I do reclamation work at Eureka Mine near Sumpter. I've been unable to grow starts from unrooted cuttings, and transplanting cuttings of rooted limbs to pots causes so much shock they usually die. I'll be collecting seeds to see if I can grow them from seeds.

Baker County Oregon

1 Response

I'm pretty sure this is a Buffaloberry, possibly Canada Buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis) See the photos here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherdia And https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/shrub/canada-buffaloberry and http://nativeplantspnw.com/soapberry-shepherdia-canadensis/

"The most successful propagation method is cuttings of sprouts off the root crown. Seed germination is very difficult due to natural seed coat breaking by birds and animals." https://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/Plants/Shepherdia_canadensis.htm