Wild Cherry

Scientific Name: Prunus avium

Family: Rosaceae

Origin: Europe and Western Asia

Wild Cherry

Why is it called Prunus avium?  In Latin, Prunus avium means bird cherry.

 Other Names: Sweet Cherry, Bird Cherry

Is Prunus avium the only tree that is called Wild Cherry? No. The Black Cherry tree, Prunus serotina, is also called Wild Cherry.

Mature Height: 15-30 feet

Mature Width/Spread: 15-30 feet

Leaves: simple, alternate, ovoid dull dark green leaves that are 3 to 6 inches long, and have a pointed tip.

In the fall, the leaves become: yellow

Flowers? Yes. Fragrant flower clusters present in the spring before the foliage.

Fruit? Yes. Some flowering plants such as P. avium produce an outer fleshy part that surrounds the pit. This type of fruit is known as a drupe. These drupes turn into red and black cherries that ripen in early summer.

Did you know …

  • This tree is part of the Rose family.
  • The fruit of this tree is edible, but it is bitter when fresh, so it has to be cooked to be eaten. All other parts of this tree are slightly toxic if eaten because they contain hydrogen cyanide that breaks down into cyanide, which is harmful to humans.
Wild Cherry Flowers
Wild Cherry Flowers