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Prunus avium

Wild cherry

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does flower in March

Plant does flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Fruits
Fruits

Plant does not fruit in January

Plant does not fruit in February

Plant does not fruit in March

Plant does not fruit in April

Plant does not fruit in May

Plant does fruit in June

Plant does fruit in July

Plant does fruit in August

Plant does not fruit in September

Plant does not fruit in October

Plant does not fruit in November

Plant does not fruit in December

  • Botanical name: Prunus avium
  • Common name: Wild cherry
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Plant Type: Fruit, Deciduous
Flower colour:

White

Foliage colour:

Green

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.

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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.

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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.

How to grow Prunus avium

  • Plant size

    20m height

    8m spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Back

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does flower in March

Plant does flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Fruits
Fruits

Plant does not fruit in January

Plant does not fruit in February

Plant does not fruit in March

Plant does not fruit in April

Plant does not fruit in May

Plant does fruit in June

Plant does fruit in July

Plant does fruit in August

Plant does not fruit in September

Plant does not fruit in October

Plant does not fruit in November

Plant does not fruit in December

Prune
Prune

Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do Prune in August

Do not Prune in September

Do not Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Harvest
Harvest

Do not Harvest in January

Do not Harvest in February

Do not Harvest in March

Do not Harvest in April

Do not Harvest in May

Do Harvest in June

Do Harvest in July

Do Harvest in August

Do not Harvest in September

Do not Harvest in October

Do not Harvest in November

Do not Harvest in December

Prunus avium and wildlife

Prunus avium is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, birds, butterflies​/​moths and other pollinators. It nectar-pollen-rich-flowers, provides shelter and habitat, has seeds for birds and is a caterpilar food plant.

Attractive to Bees

Attractive to Beneficial insects

Attractive to Birds

Attractive to Butterflies​/​Moths

Attractive to Other pollinators

Is Prunus avium poisonous?

Prunus avium can be toxic.

Toxic to:

Toxic to Cats

Toxic to Dogs

Toxic to Horses

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People