Prunus virginiana
common chokecherry, western chokecherry, white chokecherry
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Alaska, Canada and much of the United States

Habitat: Foothills and lowlands, more common in drier areas

Flowers: May - Early July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Deciduous, erect shrubs or small trees, 1-5 m. tall, the bark purplish-gray.


Leaf blades elliptic to oblong-obovate, finely serrate, 4-10 cm. long, bright green and glabrous on the upper surface, paler and glabrous to pubescent beneath.


Inflorescence a terminal, pendant, many-flowered raceme, the uniform pedicels 4-8 mm. long; calyx glabrous, the 5 lobes spreading to recurved, oval, finely glandular, 1-1.5 mm. long; petals 5, creamy white, sub-orbicular, early-deciduous, 4-6 mm. long; stamens about 25; pistil 1.


Drupe ovoid, 8-11 mm. long, red to purple or black.

Accepted Name:
Prunus virginiana L.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Cerasus demissa Nutt.
Cerasus demissa Nutt. var. melanocarpa A. Nelson
Padus demissa Roem.
Padus melanocarpa (A. Nelson) Shafer
Padus virginiana (L.) Mill. ssp. melanocarpa (A. Nelson) W.A. Weber
Padus virginiana (L.) Mill. var. demissa (Schneid.) Torr.
Prunus demissa (Nutt.) Walp.
Prunus demissa (Nutt.) D. Dietr. f. leiodisca Koehne
Prunus demissa (Nutt.) D. Dietr. f. trichodisca Koehne
Prunus demissa (Nutt.) Walp. var. melanocarpa (A. Nelson) A. Nelson
Prunus demissa var. nuttallii f. howellii
Prunus melanocarpa (A. Nelson) Rydb.
Prunus pinetorum Suksd.
Prunus virginiana L. ssp. demissa (Nutt.) Roy L. Taylor & MacBryde
Prunus virginiana L. ssp. melanocarpa (A. Nelson) Roy L. Taylor & MacBryde
Prunus virginiana L. var. demissa (Nutt.) Torr. [HC]
Prunus virginiana L. var. melanocarpa (A. Nelson) Sarg. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Prunus virginiana in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Prunus virginiana checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Prunus virginiana atlas page.

CalPhotos: Prunus virginiana photos.

USDA Plants: Prunus virginiana information.

82 photographs:
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