Prunus virginiana var. virginiana
Common name: 
Common Chokecherry
Eastern Chokecherry
PROO-nus ver-jin-ee-A-na ver-jin-ee-A-na
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • 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.
  • Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) is subdivided into two or three botanical varieties, namely:
    • P. virginiana var. virginiana - common chokecherry (eastern variety) - widely distributed throughout southern Canada and much of the United States. It occurs from Newfoundland to British Columbia and south to North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, California, and northern Mexico.  It is not native to Oregon. 
    • P. virginiana var. demissa - western chokecherry - thicket forming shrub, occurs from British Columbia southward into Washington, Oregon, California (except the coast and Central Valley), northern Mexico, and Texas.
    • 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.  This form is sometimes included in western chokecherry.
  • '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
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flowering branch

    flowering branch

  • flower clusters

    flower clusters

  • flower cluster and flowers

    flower cluster and flowers

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leaf


  • leaves


  • leaves and immature fruit

    leaves and immature fruit

  • ripe fruit

    ripe fruit

  • winter plant habit, trunk and twig

    winter plant habit, trunk and twig

  • winter twig, buds

    winter twig, buds