|Shepherdia argentea, western Nevada|
Shepherdia (buffaloberries also called bullberries) are a genus of small shrubs which have rather bitter tasting berries, native to northern and western North America. They are non-legume nitrogen fixers. The genus has three species:
- Shepherdia argentea - silver buffaloberry
- Shepherdia canadensis - Canada buffaloberry
- Shepherdia rotundifolia - round-leaf buffaloberry
The fruit are often eaten by bears, which by legend, prefer the berries to maintain fat stores during hibernation. Buffaloberries are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including The Engrailed (recorded from S. canadensis) and Coleophora elaeagnisella.
Buffaloberries are edible for humans. They are quite sour, and afterwards leave the mouth a little dry. A touch of frost will sweeten the berries. The berries can be made into jelly, jam, or syrup, or prepared like cranberry sauce from the forefrost berries. The berry is recognizable by being a dark shade of red, with little white dots on them. They are rough to the touch, and found on both trees and shrubs.
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