Chokecherry Season on the Plains
Most people refrain from eating any plant with the word "choke" in its name. Thus, the chokecherry is ignored by many who have access to its bountiful crop. That's a shame, for this delicious fruit deserves much more attention than it receives.
I remember as a youth, the chokecherry tree that stood in my grandparents front yard, and I spent many an hour eating chokecherries from that tree.
On this morning while out tramping through the grasslands with my bow, I was pleased to come across a 1/2 doz shrubs loaded with chokecherries, and enjoyed gorging myself on the berries that were more than ready to eat.
The food value of this widespread native cherry was not lost on the Native Americans. For many tribes, particularly in the northern Rockies, northern Plains, and boreal forest region, chokecherry was a staple food item. The fruit was collected and was pounded with the seeds included, then dried in the sun.
For many of the North American tribes, chokecherry was the most important fruit in the diet. It was so central to the economy of both the Blackfoot and Cheyenne that in their respective languages it was simply called "berry."
The widespread use of chokecherry is ancient; its remains have been found at more archeological sites than any other wild plant.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....