Edible Nitrogen-Fixing Perennials/Trees/Shrubs for Zone 5

Native:

Silver Buffaloberry (Shepherdia argentea)

Image from Wikipedia:Silver Buffaloberry
  • The berries of this shrub are bitter, but after a freeze they can be mixed with suger for jam.
  • A native (to Idaho) nitrogen-fixing plant
    • This is significant because the little critters in the soil that help create the nitrogen-fixing of the plant are already present. The peas I planted had to be inoculated with rhizobium since they were native to Europe, not North America.
  • Attracts insects
  • Creates habitat for wild animals
  • Creates food for wild animals and the chickens
  • Drought tolerant (once established)
  • Need both a male and a female tree in order to get berries
  • Can be purchased in McCall along with¬†Shepherdia canadensis

Silverberry (Elaeagnus commutata)

Image from Wikipedia:Silverberry
  • A native (to Idaho) nitrogen-fixing plant
  • Edible fruit raw or cooked
  • Riparian
  • Attracts insects
  • Creates habitat for wild animals
  • Creates food for wild animals and the chickens
  • Windbreak
  • This is different from Russian silverberry (Russian olive), which is not native, and is considered opportunistic in Idaho riparian areas.

Non-native

Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

Image from Wikipedia:Honey Locust
  • Sweet, edible, high-protein seedpods, which can also be used to make beer
  • Soil stabalizer
  • Attracts insects
  • Creates habitat for wild animals
  • Creates food for wild animals and the chickens
  • Nitrogen-Fixing
  • Drought tolerant

Siberian Pea Shrub (Caragana arborescens)

Image from Wikipedia:Siberian Pea Shrub
  • Nitrogen Fixing
  • Edible seeds (after cooked)
  • Flower can be added to salad
  • Attracts bees
  • Fragrant flower
  • Creates food for wild animals and the chickens
  • Windbreak
  • Soil stabalizer

I will continue to add to this last as I discover more.

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2 thoughts on “Edible Nitrogen-Fixing Perennials/Trees/Shrubs for Zone 5

  1. Pingback: Food Forest Planning | Southwest Idaho Permaculture

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