Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry)

Deciduous shrub to tree up to 30 ft. tall with bright red to dark purple berries and cylindrical clusters of white flowers, blooming May to August. Adapted to a wide range of well drained thin and infertile, to deep and nutrient-rich soils, and is also tolerant of moderately acidic to alkaline sites; intolerant of heavy clays. Found on moist or seasonally moist sites such as riparian areas, woodlands, drainages, foothills and mountain slopes; up to 10,000 ft. elevation. Widely distributed and abundant in numerous habitat types. Rhizomatous, forming loose to dense thickets that sprout readily after wildfire. Often planted as a landscaping ornamental. Fruits are important to many birds and mammals, including bears. Deer browse extensively in winter. Flowers are an important nectar source for ants and insect pollinators, including butterflies and honeybees. Caterpillar host of California hairstreak butterfly, Small-eyed sphinx and Chokecherry leafroller moth.


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Family: Rosaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Shrub/tree

Native Status: Native

Growth Form: Multiple stem

Mature Height: 25 ft.

Bloom Color: White

Fruit/Seed Color: Black

Bloom Period: Mid spring

Annual Precipitation: 13-65 in.

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant

Elevation:  ft.

Wetland Indicator Status: FAC

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance: High

Nitrogen Fixation: None


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: Medium

CaCO3 Tolerance: High

pH Range: 5.2-8.4


Seeds per Pound: 4,900

Seeding Rate:  PLS lbs/acre

Season: Fall

Days to Germination: