Shepherdia canadensis

foamberry, soapberry, buffaloberry, soopolallie

Shepherdia canadensis is an upright growing deciduous shrub. It is best identified by the oval leaves which have a dark green surface on top, and a silvery-white, fuzzy surface beneath. This bottom part of the leaf is also often covered with brown spots. Flowers are yellowish-brown. The fruits are bright red, translucent, and oval.

Cultural Narrative: 

Foamberry is popular among many groups throughout the Northwest as a treat, a gift, and an important trade item. The berries can be whipped with a little water into a light, tasty froth. Today, sugar is sometimes added. Berries may also be eaten fresh, dried, or boiled into a syrup. 

The berries, juice, twigs, and leaves were also used medicinally for a wide variety of illnesses, including as a laxative.

Location Description: 

Foamberry grows in relatively dry, open forests.