Choke cherry (zelkwú7)

Tall shrub or small tree with many stems and thin, toothed leaves with beautiful dark red fall colours. Clusters of small purple to black cherries develop in late summer.

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Description
Latin Name Prunus virginiana
Type Shrub
Description Tall shrub or small tree with many stems and thin, toothed leaves with beautiful dark red fall colours. Clusters of small purple to black cherries develop in late summer.
Height and Spread 1 – 4 m (3 – 13 feet) 1 – 3 m (3 – 10 feet)
Bloom Colour Creamy white bottle-brush clusters
Bloom Months May and June
Foliage Colour Green
Seed Months Late July to August
Light and Water Full sun or partial shade Plant in a damp area or water regularly. It will tolerate some dry periods.
Ethnobotany Information Although the berries are astringent, they are popular eaten fresh, dried, and as a juice. St’at’imc elders distinguish at least two varieties: one has translucent red fruits that are sweet and juicy, and the other has dark purple-black fruits that, unless picked when completely ripe, are astringent, giving a feeling of having swallowed a mouthful of cotton, hence the name “choke” cherry.
Wildlife Uses Choke cherry is an excellent bird attractant. It’s a host place for two-tailed swallowtail and coral hairstreak butterflies. Bears enjoy the berries in late July.
Garden Uses Beautiful when used around riparian areas or landscaped waterways. Useful for smaller properties. Attracts birds.
Facts When you see a choke cherry you are likely to see white clematis and poison ivy growing close by. The bruised bark gives off a pungent smell and has a bitter taste.
Propagation Techniques