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Chokecherry (flowers left, berries right)


Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), a member of the rose family, is the state fruit of North Dakota. This small tree or shrub grows to a height of 20 feet. Often found in ravines and valleys. The white flowers grow in clusters on the tips of branches and bloom in May. The slightly tart fruit is ripe in late July and August. Chokecherry berries were one of the main ingredients in a food commonly used by Plains Indians known as pemmican. Pemmican is a mix of dried meat, fat, and fruit that could be stored for years. Today chokecherries are commonly used to make jelly, syrup and wine.