Commonly called bitter-berry, Virginia bird cherry and western chokecherry, this is a species of bird cherry native to North America.
Shipping size: 18" - 24"
Chokecherry is a suckering shrub or small tree growing to 1–6 m (3 ft 3 in–19 ft 8 in) tall, rarely to 10 m (32 ft 10 in). The leaves are oval, 2.5–9 cm (1–3 1⁄2 in) long and 1.2–5 cm (1⁄2–2 in) wide, with a serrated margin.
The flowers are produced in racemes 4–11 cm (1 1⁄2–4 1⁄4 in) long in late spring (well after leaf emergence). They are 1⁄3–1⁄2 in (8–13 mm) across. They produce a strong heady aroma which some people find to be unpleasantly smelly, while others perceive them to have an aphrodisiac-like effect.
The fruits are about 6–14 mm (1⁄4–9⁄16 in) in diameter, range in color from bright red to black, and possess a very astringent taste, being both somewhat sour and somewhat bitter. When very ripe, the "berries" (actually drupes) are dark in color and less astringent and sweeter than when red and unripe.
Chokecherry is toxic to horses, moose, cattle, goats, deer, and other animals with segmented stomachs.
Chokecherry is used to craft wine in the western United States mainly in the Dakotas and Utah as well as in Manitoba, Canada.
For more information, visit https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PRVIV