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The Flora of Mount Shasta

Bitter Cherry

Rose Family (Rosaceae) Prunus emarginata
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Bitter Cherry © 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty Bitter Cherry © 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty

Growth Form: Shrub, often forming thickets.

Flower: White, 5 petals; flowers clustered on short twigs forming racemes.

Blooms: June-July

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.

Bitter Cherry © 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty
Bitter Cherry Shrub
© 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty

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