Oregon Grape aka Barberry (Berberis aquifolium)
“Native Americans prized the root of the Oregon Grape. It was boiled fresh for stomach problems and itchy eyes and used as a yellow basket dye.” — Janie Hibler: The Berry Bible
Tart, edible berries (considered the “poor-man’s red currant” in early North America) were used in early British recipes for Barberry drop candies where the berries are more sour. Found in pilaf dishes in Iran, and when dried used like raisins in India. The tender spring leaves can be used in salads. Oregonians such as ourselves know this as their state flower!