The Flora of Mount Shasta
Bitter CherryRose Family (Rosaceae) Prunus emarginata
Growth Form: Shrub, often forming thickets.
Flower: White, 5 petals; flowers clustered on short twigs forming racemes.
Leaves: 1" to 2 1/2", alternate, elliptic to oblong, margins are finely serrate with small glandular teeth, one or two glands on the leaf base near the petiole; deciduous.
Fruit: 1/4" to 1/2", bitter, bright red which may become nearly black when fully mature.
Stem: Slender; older stems are grey, younger stem are reddish-brown.
Height: Usually about 5 to 6 feet but may become a small tree up to 30 feet in very good growing conditions.
Found: Moist soils of slopes and valleys of the coast, Klamath, Cascades, Sierra Nevada ranges.
Tidbits: Despite its bitterness to humans, the fruit is consumed by many birds and mammals, and the foliage is browsed by deer and livestock.
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