Prunus serotina or Black Cherry

Prunus serotina is also known as Black Cherry, American Cherry, Wild Black Cherry, Rum Cherry, Capulin, Cabinet Cherry, Mountain Black Cherry, Black Choke. It is native to the Americas, north, and south. It is part of the Rosaceae family of plants. Prunus serotina grows from 50 to 80ft or 15 to 24m.

The Bark is very thin when the tree is young, however as it matures the bark becomes dark gray and broken. The leaves are shiny and vary between 2 to 5in or 5 to 13cm. Leaves change color in autumn usually into yellow and red. The crushed cherry branches and leaves are aromatic when crushed but they are toxic as they contain cyanide-forming compounds. However, the fruit is edible and made into jams and wine. The wood is also used for furniture.

Prunus serotina
Prunus serotina or Black Cherry

Prunus serotina flowers appear on drooping racemes of about 5in. that contain dozens of small white flowers. Usually, it flowers in spring between March and June after the leaves appear. After flowering is done, it produces reddish-black berries.

Prunus serotina, Black Cherry
Prunus serotina or Black Cherry at Kew Gardens

Prunus serotina can be planted in sun or shade and is not particular about the soil it can tolerate dry and moist conditions, but use well drained soil. Propagate by hardwood cuttings, semi-hard cuttings, softwood cuttings, seeds or root cuttings. Seed requires stratification for about a month or two in sand, then cold stratify for another two months and then plant.

Prunus serotina
Prunus serotina or Black Cherry Blossom

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I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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