Latin Name: Prunus pensylvanica

Other Names: Bird Cherry, Fire Cherry, Red Cherry


  • Deciduous shrub or small tree (up to 12m tall)
  • Leaves: alternate, simple, with fine tooth edges
  • Flowers: white, small, round or slightly oblong, 5-petals
  • Fruits: tiny round, green unripe, red ripe, with central pit

Edible Uses

  • Fruit only (not with pit), raw or cooked into jams

Medicinal Uses

  • Inner bark made into tea for coughs and internal ailments
  • Crushed root used for treatment of stomach ailments

Other Uses

  • n/a

Cautionary Uses

  • Most parts of this plant, specifically fruit pits and leaves contain a form of cyanide (hydrocyanic acid) and are considered poisonous

References & Resources

  1. Book: Forest Plants of Central Ontario, 1996.