=Habitat and Range.=--In varying soils; along river banks, on dry
plains, in woods, common along walls, often thickets.
From Newfoundland across the continent, as far north on the
Mackenzie river as 62 deg..
Common throughout New England; at an altitude of 4500 feet upon Mt.
South to Georgia; west to Minnesota and Texas.
.=--Usually a shrub a few feet high, but occasionally a tree 15-25
feet in height, with a trunk diameter of 5-6 inches; head, in open
places, spreading, somewhat symmetrical, with dull foliage, but very
attractive in flower and fruit, the latter variable in color and
=Bark.=--Trunk and branches dull gray, darker on older trees, rough with
raised buff-orange spots; branchlets dull grayish or reddish brown;
season's shoots lighter, minutely dotted. Bitter to the taste.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds 1-1-1/4 inches long, conical,
sharp-pointed, brown, slightly divergent from the stem.
Leaves 2-5 inches long and two-thirds as wide, dull green on the upper
side, lighter beneath, obovate or oblong, thin, finely, sharply, and
often doubly serrate; apex abruptly pointed; base roundish, obtuse or
slightly heart-shaped; leafstalk round, grooved, with two or more glands
near base of leaf; stipules long, narrow, ciliate, falling when the
=Inflorescence.=--Appearing in May, a week earlier than P. serotina,
terminating lateral, leafy shoots of the season in numerous handsome,
erect or spreading racemes, 2-4 inches long; flowers short-stemmed,
about 1/3 inch across; petals white, roundish; edge often eroded; calyx
5-cleft with thin reflexed lobes, soon falling; stamens numerous; pistil
1; style 1.
=Fruit.=--In drooping racemes; varying from yellow to nearly black,
commonly bright red, edible, but more or less astringent; stem somewhat
persistent after the cherry falls.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; grows in almost
any soil, but prefers a deep, rich, moist loam. Vigorous young trees are
attractive, but in New England they soon begin to show dead branches,
and are so seriously affected by insects and fungous diseases that it is
not wise to use them in ornamental plantations, or to permit them to
remain on the roadside.
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch.
3. Flower with part of perianth and stamens removed.
4. A petal.
5. Fruiting branch.
=Prunus serotina, Ehrh.=