E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Prunus virginiana subsp. demissa L. (Nutt.) Roy L. Taylor & MacBryde
choke cherry
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
Once images have been obtained, photographs of this species will be displayed in this window.Click on the image to enter our photo gallery.
Currently no image is available for this taxon.
E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Prunus virginiana subsp. demissa
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
New! Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.



General:
Shrub or occasionally a small tree, 1-6 m tall, often suckering and thicket-forming; young twigs usually hairy; bark smooth to fine-scaly, reddish-brown to grey-brown, not peeling readily, the lenticels not prominent.
Leaves:
Alternate, deciduous, elliptic to egg-shaped, 3-10 cm long; finely and regularly saw-toothed, abruptly tapering to a sharp-pointed tip, blunt to rounded or somewhat heart-shaped at the base, green and smooth above, paler and smooth to hairy beneath; leaf stalk with 1 or 2 prominent glands near the top.
Flowers:
Inflorescence a long (5-15 cm) bottlebrush-like cluster, at the end of a short leafy spur-shoot, of numerous stalked flowers; corollas white, saucer-shaped, the petals 5, nearly circular, 4-6 mm long; calyces smooth, 5-lobed, the oval lobes blunt, irregularly glandular-toothed or ragged, 1-1.5 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens about 25.
Fruits:
Fleshy drupes with a large stone (cherries), egg- to globe-shaped, 6-12 mm long, shiny, red, purple or black; seeds 1.
Notes:
Two subspecies occur in BC:

1. Leaves smooth beneath or hairy in axils of veins; drupes bluish-purple to black; plants from east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains................ ssp. melanocarpa (Nels.) Taylor & MacBryde

1. Leaves velvety-hairy beneath; drupes black; plants from west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains.................... ssp. demissa Taylor & MacBryde

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic forest edges, open forests, thickets, bluffs, grassy rocky slopes, river terraces, gullies, draws and streambanks in grasslands, and clearings in the lowland and montane zones; common in S BC, especially east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent northward; E to NF and S to NC, TX and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Prunus virginiana ssp. demissa

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 430 430 430
Slope Gradient (%) 14 14 14
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
120 120 120
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
1
Modal BEC Zone Class
ICH
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ICH(1)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References