Chokecherry

Genus Prunus
Rose Family (Rosaceae)



Chokecherry blossoms in June
    -- along Highway 24, Sevier County, Utah

Chokecherry
(Prunus virginiana
  -- var. melanocarpa)

These small trees can be found throughout our canyons, along the roads and in thickets on the hillsides. In the Rocky Mountain region they usually grow about 8 to 12 feet tall, but sometimes reach as much as 30 feet. The bark is reddish brown.


Chokecherries in September
     -- Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake County, Utah


The flowers are creamy white, with yellow stamens. They hang in attractive fragrant racemes from the ends of the branches.

The fruits are red, turning black as they mature. There is a large hard seed in the center of each fruit. This type of fruit is called a drupe.

They have a puckery flavor, but can be made into delicious syrups and jellies.