Growing Info: Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours. Stratification: warm stratify for 180 days, cold stratify for 90 days. Germination: sow seed 3/8" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed.
Popular for its yellow flowers in early spring and its gray and brown exfoliating bark; attractive rounded habit; edible red fruit; Dirr calls it "an excellent small tree" and recommends it for the Midwest U.S.
EDIBILITY: Fruit - raw, dried or used in preserves. Juicy, with a nice acid flavour. The fully ripe fruit has a somewhat plum-like flavour and texture and is very nice eating, but the unripe fruit is rather astringent. It is rather low in pectin and so needs to be used with other fruit when making jam. At one time the fruit was kept in brine and used like olives.
The fruit is a reasonable size, up to 15mm long, with a single large seed. A small amount of edible oil can be extracted from the seeds. Seeds are roasted, ground into a powder and used as a coffee substitute.