Alphabetical Plant Listing

Prunus serotina (Black Cherry)

Black Cherry, Wild Black Cherry, Rum Cherry


Prunus serotina (Black Cherry) is a large deciduous tree of pyramidal to conical habit in youth, becoming oval-headed with spreading, arching branches with age. Its pendulous branches are clothed in oblong, finely serrated, glossy green leaves, 5 in. long (12 cm), with pointed tips. The foliage warms up to bright golden-yellow and red in the fall. In early spring to early summer, a profusion of fragrant white flowers held in dangling clusters, up to 6 in. long (15 cm), appear right after the leaves emerge. The blossoms give way to pendulous clusters of small, rounded, red berries that ripen to dark purple-black in late summer. Attractive to birds and other wildlife, the berries are bitter, but can be harvested for processing into jams and jellies. The bark on mature trees is dark and scaly. Black Cherry is the largest and most important US native cherry. Prized for the beauty and quality of its wood, Black Cherry is used for furniture, paneling, professional and scientific instruments, handles, and toys. A cough medicine, wild cherry syrup, is obtained from its bark. Easy to grow, Black Cherry will reward you with spring lace-like blossoms, attractive summer foliage, lovely fall color and ornamental berries. A beautifully shaped shade tree.

  • Grows up to 50-80 ft. tall (12-24 m) and 30-60 ft. wide (9-18 m). Will produce abundant stray seedlings.
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in moist, well-drained soils. Best flower and fruit production is obtained in full sun. Although somewhat tolerant of dry conditions, Black Cherry will respond best to rich, moist soil and a heavy mulch to keep the root zone cool.
  • Keep an eye out for leaf spot, die back, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot, fireblight, aphids, scale, borers, leafhoppers, caterpillars, tent caterpillars, Japanese beetles and spider mites.
  • The bark, leaves, and seeds of this species are especially toxic.
  • Native to eastern North America, Mexico and Central America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Prunus - Flowering Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 50' – 80' (15m – 24m)
Spread 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Dry Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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By Przemyslaw Muszynski, Ihor Hvozdetskyi, Steidi, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Prunus - Flowering Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 50' – 80' (15m – 24m)
Spread 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Dry Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Prunus - Flowering Trees

Guides with Prunus - Flowering Trees

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