Prunus avium

Prunus avium

Wild cherry

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Flowers
Flowers
Yes
Yes
Fruits
Fruits
Yes
Yes
Yes

Key Information

  • Botanical name: Prunus avium
  • Common name: Wild cherry
  • Plant type: Fruit
  • Evergreen/Deciduous: Deciduous

Height: 20m

Spread: 8m

Flower colour:
  • White
Foliage colour:
  • Green
  • Features: Fruit

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The wild cherry, or gean, Prunus avium, is a medium-sized deciduous tree with pure white flowers in spring, followed by small, red-purple cherries in summer. The chestnut-coloured bark becomes silvery with age, and leaves turn a rich orange-red in autumn.

There are many cultivars of wild cherry, including variety 'Plena', which has pendulous clusters of nodding double white flowers, and does not produce fruit. The fruits of Prunus avium are edible, but can be rather bitter, so opt for a cultivar if your main reason for growing it is to produce edible fruits.

For best results, grow in full sun with free-draining soil. Prunus avium is only suitable for large gardens – trees can reach 20m in height, or more.

Position

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Aspect: South facing, West facing
  • Position in border: Back
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Maintenance: Prefers rich soil
  • Soil type: Well drained/light/sandy, Clay/heavy/moist

Wildlife

Attracts:
  • Bees

  • Beneficial insects

  • Birds

  • Butterflies / Moths

  • Other pollinators

  • Wildlife features: Nectar/pollen rich flowers, Provides shelter/habitat, Seeds for birds, Caterpillar food plant

Care routine

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Plant
Plant
Yes
Yes
Yes
Harvest
Harvest
Yes
Yes
Yes
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Prune
Prune
Yes

Toxicity

Toxic to:
  • People

  • Cats

  • Dogs

  • Birds

  • Horses

  • Livestock

  • Effects: Harmful if ingested, Purgative if ingested

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