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Prunus virginiana

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Trees, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, alkaline, rich, average, poor, loam, clay, sand

Height: 15'-30'

Bloom Time: April, May, June, July

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, berries, colonizing, drought tolerant, edible, fall interest, medicinal, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, poisonous, showy fruit

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)
  • Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)
  • Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)
  • Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)
  • Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Prunus virginiana

Also known as:

chokecherry

,

common chokecherry

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Prunus virginiana is a fast growing, deciduous tree or large shrub that commonly grows between 15' to 20', more rarely to 30' or more. It produces showy terminal racemes of fragrant white flowers, followed by showy clusters of small, dark purple edible fruit. Foliage has good fall color.

Cultivation

Prunus virginiana has a tendency to naturalize, and often forms thickets in the wild. In cultivation, it can be grown as a tree forming specimen. It occurs naturally over a wide range, and is adaptable to just about all conditions, with a few exceptions: it is intolerant of extreme arid conditions, wet feet and poor drainage, regular inundation, and deep shade. Bloom times will vary from April to July. Is adapted to temperature extremes, from zone 2 to 8.

Propagation

To propagate from seed, best results are achieved when they are sown immediately when ripe. Dried seeds lose viability. Can be propagated by softwood, semi-hardwood, or root cuttings. Suckers can easily be removed in spring, and transplanted.

Additional Notes

Fruit are delicious but very astringent when eaten raw, hence the common Name "chokeberry". They are best cooked and used in preserves or jams. The cherries are also an important food source for a variety of birds and mammals. Except for the fruit, all parts of the plant should be considered poisonous, including the raw seeds if eaten in large quantities. All parts of the plant have been used medicinally for a wide range of treatments and applications.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Special Concern: TN

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Rosales
Family Rosaceae Rose family
Genus Prunus plum
Species Prunus virginiana chokecherry