What Are Chokecherries?


Quick Answer

Chokecherry, or Prunus virginiana, is a small wild cherry tree native to eastern North America. It is closely related to domesticated cherries, plums, peaches and apricots.

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What Are Chokecherries?
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Full Answer

Chokecherry produces dark purple, pea-sized berries. The berries have an unpleasant, astringent taste when picked off the tree and eaten. Despite this, the berries are harvested for use in jams, jellies, syrups and wines.

The chokecherry is an important fall and winter food resource for grouse, quail, prairie chickens, songbirds, bears, rodents, rabbits, moose and deer. Its twigs have a higher concentration of protein in the fall that sustains deer. However, chokecherry is not safe for all creatures. Livestock and children have been fatally poisoned from eating chokecherry leaves and seeds.

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