sweet cherry Rosaceae Prunus
avium (L.) L. symbol: PRAV
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 2 to 5 inches long, oval to obovate, serrated margin (slightly rounded teeth), obvious darkened glands on petiole, generally with more than 8 pairs of veins.
Flower: Showy, white, 1 inch across, 3 to 5 per cluster, appearing early spring.
Fruit: Sweet, dark red to nearly black drupe, 1/2 to 1 inch across, may be clustered on spur shoots; matures early to mid summer.
Twig: Medium textured, gray-brown, with a mild bitter almond taste; buds large (up to 1/4 inch), reddish brown; spur shoots present with multiple terminal buds.
Bark: Gray-brown, smooth, with prominant, long horizontal lenticels, often peels.
Form: A small to medium sized tree, generally to 50 feet, with a broadly rounded crown.
Looks like: sour cherry - black cherry - fire cherry - mountain holly
Additional Range Information: Prunus avium is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting sweet cherry.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: 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