Shrubs - Wild Plum
Shrub 3 to 10 feet tall with white blossoms in late spring, producing yellow-to-red fruits. Both Plains Indians and settlers relished this fruit raw, dried, or cooked in jellies and preserves. Lewis and Clark wrote of its abundance alongside rivers and grassy bottomlands, standing in many-acre colonies. These groves are both naturally occurring and, in some cases, may have been the result of “rubbish piles” of plum seeds discarded by Plains Indians camped nearby.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.