Prunus virginiana
Common name: 
Chokecherry
Pronunciation: 
PROO-nus ver-jin-ee-A-na
Family: 
Rosaceae
Genus: 
Synonyms: 
Prunus virginiana var. virginiana
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Deciduous, thicket forming shrub or small tree, up to 30 ft (9 m) tall, spur shoots common on older branches.  Bark is gray, thin, broken, and finally scaly, lenticels are not obvious, smooth and red-brown on younger trees.   Leaves 5-10 cm long to 2.5-5 cm wide, oblong-ovate, apex acute or tapering, base rounded, margin serrate; petiole 2.5 cm long, to 1-2 small glands (dots) near its junction with the blade.  Flowers white, in elongated unbranched clusters (racemes), to 10 cm long.  Fruit 6-10 mm wide, dark purple, juicy, astringent or bitter pulp, large seed.
  • Sun or partial shade.  
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 2         Native to over much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland to Saskatchewan, south to Kansas and North Carolina.
  • The chokecherry is subdivided into three botanical varieties, namely:
    • P. virginiana var. virginiana - common chokecherry (eastern variety)
    • P. virginiana var. melanocarpa - black chokecherry - occurs in southern Canada from eastern British Columbia to Alberta and the Dakotas; southward throughout the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico; and along the east slope of the Cascade Range (including northeastern Oregon) and also in southern Oregon to northern California.
    • P. virginiana var. demissa - western chokecherry - thicket forming shrub, occurs from British Columbia southward into northern Mexico, Texas, and California (except the coast and Central Valley).
  • 'Canada Red'  -  is a tree in which the leaves are green at first then become dark purple, by June about 90% of the foliage is purple (Jacobson, 1996)
  • virginiana: of Virginia
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    plant habit,flowering

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    flowering branch

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    flower cluster and flowers

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    plant habit, summer

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    leaves and immature fruit

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  • winter plant habit, trunk and twig

    winter plant habit, trunk and twig

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    winter twig, buds