Prunus virginiana / Chokecherry


This is one of the most important Native American staple fruits, a shrub to small tree with abundant flowers and glowing dark cherries in late summer. Like so many plants of our continent, it is maligned with a nasty name. But it excels as lepidopteran host, pollinator plant, songbird food, and as a jam, syrup, fruit leather, and pemmican fruit. In herbal medicine, it is used (like black cherry) as a cough remedy.

Host plant powerhouse! Chokecherry (American Plum and Beach Plum, too) host at least four butterflies and dozens of moths. Butterflies include Coral Hairstreak, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Red Spotted Purple, and Striped Hairstreak.

Height: 5′ – 15′      Blooms: May     Fruits: August

Siting: Moist to dry soil, sun to shade

Deer Resistance: Moderate


Additional information