Prunus virginiana
ROSE FAMILY (Rosaceae)

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This native shrub or small tree grows up to 20 feet tall. It often forms thickets (B). The alternate leaves are oval and pointed, with fine teeth on the margins. New growth twigs and leaves are often reddish. The white flowers form crowded, upright clusters (racemes) at the ends of twigs (A). The fruits ripens by July as a dark red-to-blackish berries, dangling on stalks like grapes (C).

Grows in open areas, including roadsides and ravines, flowering in April and May. In Fontenelle Forest, uncommon at the base of Child’s Hollow. At Neale Woods, uncommon at bluff’s edge on History Trail.

Choke Cherries are astringent to the taste, but make fine jellies and preserves.

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