Shrubs of Wisconsin

Prunus virginiana L.
Family: Rosaceae
tree leaves



winter twig flowers fruit

The leaves of Prunus virginiana are alternate and simple with toothed margins and they are variable in shape and size. The undersurface has paler hairs than Prunus serotina and they are mainly concentrated in the angles formed where the lateral veins meet the midrib. Numerous white-petaled flowers are born along an axis (forming a raceme) as in Prunus serotina. The bud scales are very distinctive, with dark brown bases and lighter, silver colored tips.

Prunus virginiana is a small tree found in the understory of many forests and in old fields, clearings, throughout the state. The cherries are notably bitter, but make good jelly or wine with the addition of sugar. As is the case with our other cherries, freshly broken twigs emit a bitter almond odor and are bitter to the tase. Prunus virginaina is found throughout Wisconsin.


known Wisconsin distribution


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