Dialect variation: Pákkiihp (FR); Púkíhp; Pukkoop
Season: Cherries ripen late after 4th of July
Habitat: Common to streambanks, slopes, and woodlands up to about 5,000 feet
Small shrub or tree that grows up to 20 feet high, bushes are similar to those of service berries but the cherries hang in long bunches
Bark: purplish grey in color
Flowers: white to yellowish flowers presented in narrow, blossoms are white, smell good
Leaves: finely serrated edges, oval to round, pale green underneath and bright green on top 1-4 inches long
Berries: small, round, with large hard stones in the center and bright red to purple/black flesh
Old uses: Pákki’p would often be dried or made into jelly. The stones by themselves are poisonous, therefore the Amskapi Pikuni would pound the cherries up, stones and all, picking out the largest bits of stone, and create cakes out of the pulp. These dried cakes would be cooked in winter.
Chokecherry bark used to be a popular cough and chest cold medicine
Cherry taste of cough syrup derives from this, used to flavor medicines
Inner bark in the treatment of diarrhea, sore throats, worms, headaches, and even heart conditions
Turner, Nancy J. Food plants of interior First Peoples. Royal BC Museum, 2007.