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Prunus virginiana var. demissa (Nutt.) Torr., western chokecherry, is also called bitter cherry and black chokecherry. It is a shrub or small tree from 3 to 20 feet tall and occasionally as tall as 30 feet in favorable sites. The bark is smooth to scaly and dull red to gray. Leaves are ovate to broadly elliptical, rounded at the base or slightly heart shaped, 1½ to 3½ inches long, 1 to 2 inches wide, smooth or only slightly hairy, with finely toothed margins. Flowers are white, showy, and clustered in 2 to 5 inch long racemes at the ends of leafy shoots. Western chokecherry blooms from April to May. The fruit is round, ¼ to ½ inch in diameter, dark purple when ripe, and matures from September to October.


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USDA NRCS Plant Materials Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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