This is a small deciduous species of cherry tree that is native to BC.
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.
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.
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.
Fleshy drupes with a large stone (cherries), egg- to globe-shaped, 6-12 mm long, shiny, red, purple or black; seeds 1.
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
Present over the Summer
According to the USDA, this species is a known allelopath.
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|AT(6), BG(68), BWBS(42), CWH(1), ESSF(12), ICH(124), IDF(320), IMA(1), MS(64), PP(102), SBPS(5), SBS(80)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Prunus demissa (Nutt.) Walp.
Prunus virginiana subsp. demissa (Nutt.) Roy L. Taylor & MacBryde