fire cherry Rosaceae Prunus
pensylvanica L. f. symbol: PRPE2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, lanceolate, 3 to 5 inches long, 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide, finely serrated margin, green above and slightly paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; white, 1/2 inch across, occurring in a small cluster.
Fruit: Red drupe, 1/4 inch in diameter, ripening in mid summer, very sour.
Twig: Slender, glabrous, reddish brown; buds are small (1/8 inch), reddish brown and clustered at the branch tips; a mild bitter almond taste when chewed.
Bark: Lustrous, shiny, red-brown, long horizontal lenticels, may peel off in horizontal strips.
Form: A small tree to 30 feet tall, 1 foot in diameter.
Looks like: black cherry - choke cherry - sweet cherry - sour cherry
Additional Range Information: Prunus pensylvanica is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting fire cherry.
More Information: Fall Color - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson