Peraphyllum ramosissimum Nutt.
An intricately branched shrub, growing u to about 4 to 5 feet. The delicate, lance-shaped leaves are gray-green and the flowers are showy white tinged with pink and resemble apple blossoms. Squaw Apple often produces an abundance of sweetly scented flowers followed by tiny apple-like fruits. The attractive fruit. which from late June to early August, are yellowish-red and bitter tasting. Squaw apple grows mainly in well-drained soils on dry foothill and mountain slopes. It prefers full sun and well drained soil. It is in flower from April to May. It is found in southern Idaho.
Fruit may be used raw or cooked. Sour when unripe, the fruits are slightly bitter as they ripen and when fully ripe are sweetish but with a bitter after-taste. Those fruits that have fully ripened and dried on the plant are the sweetest and most desirable. Ripe fruits can also be used in making jellies or prepared like spiced crab apples.
Value to Wildlife:
Wildlife known to eat squaw-apple fruits and seeds include grouse, wild-turkeys, deer mice, chipmunks, ground squirrels, and American black bears. Deer browse squaw apples lightly during the fall and winter, and small birds use the shrubs to be almost worthless.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. Does well in hot dry summers.