Scientific Name:
Prunus virginiana
cyanogenic glycosides
Flower Color:
fields, waterside, upland, ornamental, gardens

Geographical Distribution

Chokecherry distribution - United States


Prunus virginiana

wild cherry, black cherry, Sweet cherry
7/ 10
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) is a perennial, deciduous, woody, thicket-forming large erect shrub or small tree. It has dark green, glossy leaves that are oval to broadly elliptical in shape with toothed margins. They are arranged alternatively and turn yellow during the autumn season.
Choke cherry toxic poultry
P. virginiana initially has gray to reddish brown bark which as it ages, turns darker into a brownish-black color. In the spring, it produces aromatic flowers from April to July. A couple months after blossoming, it develops dark red to black colored sperical drupes of berries.

Toxic components
All parts of P. virginiana contain amygdalin and prunasin, which are cyanogenic glycosides. Poultry only need to ingest a small amount of P. virginiana to be poisoned. The toxicity increases if leaves are damaged or stressed from frost, storms, drought or seasonal wilting.