Prunus virginiana

Easily adaptable and widely present shrub with clusters of white flowers in drooping racemes

Prunus virginiana chokecherry

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

A large, deciduous shrub or a small tree, often forming thickets.  The flowers and leaves appear at about the same time in May.  Flowers are borne on drooping racemes at the end of branches.  Leaves are broad and oval-shaped, finely toothed. Petioles have a distinctive red color. Fruit color changes from green to red to dark purple.

Birds love the fruit and spread its seeds into various landscapes where chokecherry readily establishes.

Forest edges, fields, woodlands, rocky woods, border of swamps.

Present throughout the state.

Wetland codes

Flowers May through early June. Flowers and leaves appear at the same time.

Fruits appear in August and last through September.

Flowers  numerous, in nodding cylindrical racemes up to 4 inches long. Five white round petals with an orange yellow center with a ring of yellow-tipped stamens with single central style; five sepals. Pedicels are glabrous.

Leaves  simple and alternate, ovate or obovate in shape and widest at or above the middle; upper surface is dark green and shiny, while lower surface of lighter green and usually smooth.

Leaf margins  finely serrated with sharp teeth.

Petioles  reddish in color, with glands at the apex.

Fruit  round, shiny drupe, turning from green to red to dark purple; 1/3 inch in diameter with a single hard seed.  Sepals are not persistent and die off as the fruit develops.

Bark  not aromatic, brownish gray to gray, smooth but become rougher on older trunks.

Petioles are red in color.  

White flowers are held in long, drooping racemes.

Prunus serotina (black cherry)

Black cherry does not have the same sharp teeth as chokecherry, only occasionally may have red petioles & has more narrow leaves than chokecherry.

S-rank:  S5 (Secure)
G-rank:  G5 (Secure)

Prunus virginiana chokecherry

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA
Prunus virginiana gallery
Plant Life-Form
deciduous tree or shrub
Common Names