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Prunus serotina

Common Names: Black Cherry, Wild Cherry, Rum Cherry
Prunus serotina
Prunus serotina

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Species: Prunus serotina

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Black cherry has a large range in size as an adult tree, between 30 to 100’ feet tall.

Their bark is dark gray, and appears scaly or flaky, reminding some observers of burnt potato chips.

Their leaves are alternate and simple, between 2 and 6" long and foot-ball shaped. They are toothed, glossy, and creased along the midrib. In the fall, they turn shades from yellow to red.

Habitat & Range

Black cherry’s range reaches across the eastern United States and just north into Canada. They grow in a wide variety of habitats.

At the Cayuga Nature Center they are most common along our stream sides.

Life Cycle

Black cherry flowers are white, and bloom in the spring and early summer.

The fruit of this tree are 1/2" long, black-red berries. They hang in 5" clusters.

Featured image by James Dake.


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