A large deciduous shrub or small, 20-foot-high, understory tree often forming a dense colony. Slender twigs form a oval to rounded crown. Clusters of drooping white flowers are followed by dark purple fruit. Native throughout most of the United States but difficult to find in the nursery trade. Susceptible to many insect and disease problems.
This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Small tree (15-25 feet),
- Compact tree (10-15 feet),
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 2,
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6
- Alkaline soil,
- Dry soil
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & Form
A irregular, dense large shrub to small suckering tree reaching 20 to 30 feet high.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in full sun to part shade.
Tolerant of drought and dry to medium soil.
Disease, pests, and problems
Susceptible to many disease and insects. Black knot, mildew, rust, root rots, fireblight, borers, mites and tent caterpillars.
Native geographic location and habitat
Found throughout most of U.S.. in woodlands, bluffs and ravines.
Attracts birds & butterflies
Flower and fruit attract birds and butterflies.
Bark color and texture
Brownish-gray with white lenticles.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Dark green 5 inch long elliptical shaped leaves with serrated margins. Underside of leaf is gray-green. Fall color is yellow to orange.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Fragrant 3 to 6 inch long slender clusters of white flowers in late April to early May.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit is a pea-size purple drupe.
Canada Red (Prunus virginiana 'Canada Red'): Foliage emerges green, then changes to purple and fianlly red in autumn. More intense color than 'Schubert'. Faster growing.
Schubert (Prunus virginiana 'Schubert'): Foliage emerges green, then changes to purple and fianlly red in autumn.