sour cherry Rosaceae Prunus
cerasus L. symbol: PRCE
Leaf: Alternate, 2 to 5 inches long, oval to obovate, serrate margins, obvious darkened glands on petiole, generally with less than 8 pairs of veins.
Flower: White, 5 petals, 3 to 5 per cluster, appearing in mid-spring.
Fruit: Sweet, dark red to black, 1/2 to 1 inch across, may be clustered on spur shoots; matures early to mid summer.
Twig: Medium textured, gray-brown, buds reddish brown, spur shoots present (spurs with multiple terminal buds), with a mild bitter almond taste.
Bark: Red to gray-brown, tight but somewhat rough, with prominant horizontal lenticels, often peels.
Form: A small tree, generally to 30 feet, with a broadly rounded crown.
Looks like: sweet cherry - black cherry - fire cherry - mountain holly
Additional Range Information: Prunus cerasus is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting sour cherry.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)