Ontario Trees & Shrubs website

Chokecherry
(Prunus virginiana)

Other common names: Choke Cherry, Eastern Chokecherry, Red Choke Cherry, Red Chokecherry

Family: Rose Family (Rosaceae)

Group: Cherries

Distinctive features: Shrub

Similar species:
  •   Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) - a tree.

  •   Pin Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica) - a tree.


Flowers: Spring;  White;  5 parts (petals)

Leaves: Alternate, Simple, Toothed;  Alternate, simple.

Height: 8 m (26 ft)

Fruit/Seeds: Black fruit.

Habitat: Fields and Open Areas;  Open areas.

Uses: Edible fruits, although they are VERY tart!

Edible: Edible but extremely tart, hence the name!

Books: Trees in Canada: 382    Shrubs of Ontario: 211    Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 314   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Common.

Notes: The fruits are edible, although very sour - hence the shrub's name.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: : of Virginia, Virginian


See Also:
  •   Great Americans: Chokecherry, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney


Photographs: 119 photographs available, of which 3 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

Here is an overall picture of a Chokecherry shrub, in spring, in flower.

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

Close-up of a branch with leaves and flower cluster.

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

Close-up of the flowers. Note how the are arranged along a stem, and hang down. They are fragrant. This picture was taken in late May.


Range map for Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)