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
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
Pricing & Availability
Prunus virginianaAlso known as:
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.
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.
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.
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
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