All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Acid soil,
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil,
- Sandy soil
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil,
- Road salt
- May be difficult to find in nurseries
- Spring blossoms,
- Showy fruit
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Tree & Plant Care
A stiff, shrubby plant found in sunny hedgerows and wood edges.
Often confused with plum cherry (Prunus cerasifera)
Plants reach 8 feet high and 12 feet wide, sometimes more tree-like about 16 feet high.
Prefers well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil pH in full sun to light shade.
Disease, pests, and problems
Cankers, leaf spots and borers
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Native geographic location and habitat
Europe, Scandinavia, Siberia and Iran
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Fleshy fruit attracts songbirds and game birds.
Bark color and texture
Stiff, blackish-brown, spiny branches.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate. Leaves are elliptical to oval, 11/2 to 2 inches long with a pointed tip and serrated leaf margins.
Dark green changing to yellow fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Five-petaled, creamy-white flowers in small cluster in early spring before leaves emerge.
Flowers are insect pollinated.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit is a black berry with a purple-blue waxy bloom, ripening in autumn.
Berries are tart and astringent, often used in jams and for medicinal purposes.