Dazzling with very fragrant white flowers in spring, chokecherry also produces dark red berries and a pretty fall foliage display in autumn. Native to central North America, this deciduous large shrub to small tree typically suckers to form a thicket. An individual tree's canopy is typically pyramid-like, with a smooth to slightly platy gray-brown bark. If its twigs are broken, they may emit a somewhat unpleasant odor. Glossy green to dark green leaves emerge in spring, unfurling to become broad ovals with very tiny teeth on their edges. By late spring many small, fragrant white flowers open on dangling spikes, called racemes, and are pollinated by bees. In late summer the small round red fruits develop, darkening to red or black when fully ripe. These have an astringent flavor which gives the plant its common name. Fall foliage color ranges from shades of pale yellow to orange and bright red.
Chokecherry grows in a wide variety of exposures, from full sun to a fair amount of shade, and grows vigorously in deep, fertile soils. Wildlife friendly and highly ornamental, it makes a great windbreak or buffer plant on edges of properties. The fruits are eaten by many animals and are also edible to humans, sometimes used to make a delicious sweet preserve. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Prunus
Species - Virginiana
Common name - Black Choke cherry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 2 - 7
Height - 15'-25' / 4 - 8 m
Spread - 18'-25' / 5 - 8 m
Plant type - Small Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees
Germination rate - 78%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Light white
|Germination||1. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water overnight. Lay the seeds on a flat surface to dry for several hours.|
2. Stratify seeds in a plastic bag full of moist sand inside the refrigerator for 90 days. Keep the sand barely moist during the cold stratification period.
3. Sow the seeds the following spring once outdoor temperatures rise above 65F (+18C) during the day and 48F (+8C) at night. Or sow indoors in the propagator or pots
4. Prepare a pot for each seed. Fill 8-inch plastic pots with garden soil taken from the bed where the trees will eventually be planted. Sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch.
5. Water the seeds to a depth of 3 inches after planting them. Maintain moisture at a 3-inch depth during the germination process.
6. Place the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot where they will be exposed to direct sun in the morning and afternoon. Protect the seeds from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day since the soil will warm too quickly and dry out.
7. Watch for sprouting one month after sowing. Maintain the same light and moisture conditions provided to the seeds during germination until they grow to 4 inches in height.
8. Plant the seedlings into a sunny, sandy bed at least 75 days before the first frost in autumn, or shelter the seedlings in a cold frame until the following spring if it is too late in the year for planting. (info source: eHow.com)