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CHOKECHERRY - Padus virginiana

IMAGE
Copyright:Al Schneider. Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com & Steve O'Kane, CoNPS, www.conps.org/images
Copyright:Al Schneider. Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com & Steve O'Kane, CoNPS, www.conps.org/images
Copyright:Al Schneider. Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com & Steve O'Kane, CoNPS, www.conps.org/images
Copyright:Al Schneider. Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com & Steve O'Kane, CoNPS, www.conps.org/images

IDENTIFICATION
Common Name: CHOKECHERRY
Meaning: fruits are astringent.
Scientific Name: Padus virginiana
Derivation: of Virginia.
Synonyms: Prunus virginiana subsp. melanocarpa
Family: Rose - Rosaceae
Species Characteristics: flowers in a raceme (cluster of stalked flowers along a simple main axis).
Mature Height: 10 to 15 feet.
Mature Spread: 8 to 10 feet.
Flower Color: white
Flower Cluster: raceme (elongated flower cluster with stalked flowers along a main axis).
Flower Symmetry: radial
Fruit Color: black
Fruit Type: drupe (indehiscent - does not open upon maturity - fleshy fruit in which the outer part is soft and inner part contains hard pit enclosing the seed).
Leaf Type: simple (not divided into similar parts).
ECOLOGY
Origin: native
Frequency: common
Growth Form: shrub
Class: angiosperm (plant with covered seed).
SubClass: dicot (plants with two seed leaves and netted leaf veins).
Season of Bloom: spring (Mar. - May).
Life Zone: plains/foothills.
Habitat: streamsides at 4,500 to 10,000 feet elevation.
Eco. Relationships: rampantly suckering large shrub, resident and migrant birds including grouse feed on fruit; black bear are attracted to the foothills in the fall when berries ripen.

WEED MANAGEMENT

LANDSCAPING
Availability: commonly available.
Landscaping Use: ornamental shrub, windbreaks, erosion control, small specimen, hedge, wildlife planting; leaves among first to turn in fall.
Moisture Requirement: low to moderate, requires periodic irrigation.
Light Requirement: full sun.
Soil Requirement: adaptable to low fertility and wide range of textures, pH 7.0, moist, well-drained.
Landscaping Cultivar: Canada Red (Shubert).

HUMAN CONNECTIONS
Toxicity: in spring, leaves are poisonous especially to domestic sheep; seeds, leaves and twigs of many species in this genus contain amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside (sugar compound) which causes cyanide poisoning if eaten, resulting in cellular suffocation.
Edibilty: fresh berries are often astringent, but less so with certain individual plants or when very black and fully ripe; berries make an excellent jelly or wine; Native Americans ate berries fresh, dried for winter use; stem and bark were used for tea.

Version: 2.7.0      Release Date: January 2014       ©2010 Jefferson County ITS

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