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Edible Use


Family: Rosaceae
Prunus virginiana

Description: The Chokecherry is usually a small tree, but if old, it can grow up to 7.5-9 meters (25-30 feet) tall. Sometimes Chokecherries grow as shrubs. In the spring, the tree has clusters of 5-petaled, white flowers, and the fruit grows in the summer. The cherry is smaller than most cherries, with a shiny-red skin. When cut open, you should find a pit, not the many seeds of an apple.

Leaves: The simple leaves are toothed, and ovate. The leaves are no more than 13 cm (5 inches) long. In the spring the leaves are green, and in the summer and fall the leaves turn dark red.

Habitat: The Chokecherry grows mostly in heavily wooded thickets.

Location: The only cherry I've seen growing naturally was by Dan's house in Coldspring, Massachusetts on the trail by his "Place in the Woods." See location for more information.

Use: The chokecherry is mostly to tart to eat raw, but makes a good jelly. DO NOT EAT WILTED LEAVES OR FRESH SEEDS. They contain cyanide, but cooking the fruit will rid it of the cyanide.