WSU Clark County Extension

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Indian Plum

Scientific name: Oemleria cerasiformis

Type:Deciduous shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:6 to 10
Sun:Partial shade
Plant Characteristics
Height:10 ft
Width:12 ft
Bloom:Winter flowers
Bloom Time:February to April
Bloom Color:White
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Indian Plum is a Northwest native shrub best known for its attractive late winter to early spring dangling white blooms that appear before the leaves emerge.

This deciduous shrub ranges in height from 6’-20’ and in width to 12’. It has an upright growth habit and can spread by suckers. As for vegetation, Indian Plum features green lance-shaped leaves that are gray-green underneath and fuzzy. If the leaves are crushed they give off a watermelon rind scent.

The name comes from the presence of small plum-like fruit. These ripen in the fall providing winter feed for birds, rodents, deer, foxes and coyotes, all of whom relish the bittersweet fruits. As such this species is dioecious meaning that male and female plants exist. If fruit is sought after, both male and female plants will need to be planted near one another. Only the female plants will bear fruit.

Indian Plum grows well on all sorts of Northwest sites from moist stream banks to dry woodland sites, but prefers the rich humus soils. It grows all through western Washington, Oregon, and northern California.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234