#283 Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)

12 December

The wild chokecherry is often considered a pest, as it is a host for the tent caterpillar, a threat to other fruit plants. Other, more appreciated cultivars of the chokecherry are known. ‘Canada Red’ and ‘Schubert’ have leaves that mature to purple and turn orange and red in the autumn. ‘Goertz’ has a nonastringent, so palatable, fruit. Research at the University of Saskatchewan seeks to find or create new cultivars to increase production and processing.

The chokecherry is closely related to the black cherry (Prunus serotina) of eastern North America; it is most readily distinguished from that by its smaller size (black cherry trees can reach 100 ft tall), smaller leaves, and sometimes red ripe fruit. The chokecherry leaf has a finely serrated margin and is dark green above with a paler underside, while the black cherry leaf has numerous blunt edges along its margin and is dark green and smooth

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