Rum Cherry Black Cherry

=Habitat and Range.=--In all sorts of soils and exposures; open places

and rich woods.

Nova Scotia to Lake Superior.

Maine,--not reported north of Oldtown (Penobscot county); frequent

throughout the other New England states.

South to Florida; west to North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas,

extending through Mexico, along the Pacific coast of Central

rica to Peru.

=Habit.=--Usually a medium-sized tree, 30-50 feet in height, with a

trunk diameter varying from 8 or 10 inches to 2 feet; attaining much

greater dimensions in the middle and southern states; branches few,

large, often tortuous, subdividing irregularly; head open, widest near

the base, rather ungraceful when naked, but very attractive when clothed

with bright green, polished foliage, profusely decked with white

flowers, or laden with drooping racemes of handsome black fruit.

=Bark.=--Bark of trunk deep reddish-brown and smooth in young trees, in

old trees very rough, separating into close, thick, irregular, blackish

scales; branches dark reddish-brown, marked with small oblong, raised

dots. Bitter to the taste.

=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds ovate, 1/8 inch long, covered with

imbricated brown scales.

Leaves 2-5 inches long, about half as wide, dark green above and glossy

when full grown, paler below, turning in autumn to orange, deep red, or

pale yellow, firm, smooth on both sides, elliptical, oblong, or

lanceolate-oblong; finely serrate with short, incurved teeth; apex

sharp; base acute or roundish; meshes of veins minute; petioles 1/2 inch

long, with usually two or more glands near the base of the leaf;

stipules glandular-edged, falling as the leaf expands.

=Inflorescence.=--May to June. From new leafy shoots, in simple, loose

racemes, 4-5 inches long; flowers small; calyx with 5 short teeth

separated by shallow sinuses, persistent after the cherry falls; petals

5, spreading, white, obovate; stamens numerous; pistil one; style


=Fruit.=--September. Somewhat flattened vertically, 1/4 inch in

diameter; purplish-black, edible, slightly bitter.

=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy in New England; in rich soil in open

situations young trees grow very rapidly, old trees rather slowly.

Seldom used for ornamental purposes, but serves well as a nurse tree for

forest plantations, or where quick results and a luxurious foliage

effect is desired, on inland exposures or near the seacoast. The

branches are very liable to disfigurement by the black-knot and the

foliage by the tent-caterpillar. Large plants are seldom for sale, but

seedlings may be obtained in large quantities and at low prices. A

weeping horticultural form is occasionally offered. Propagated from


1. Winter buds.

2. Flowering branch.

3. Flower with part of perianth and stamens removed.

4. A petal.

5. Fruiting branch.

6. Mature leaf.

=Prunus Avium, L.=