(Prunus serotina)
The Rose Family (Rosaceae)

Leaves are alternate, deciduous with a lustrous dark green upper surface and red fuzzy hairs along the petiole underneath. The gray, white or red-brown bark is smooth with numerous short, narrow, horizontal slits when young; becomes very dark (nearly black) and blocky when mature.


A variety of habitats except wet or very dry.

Interesting Facts: 

All parts of this tree, except fruit without its seed, contain a chemical which is poisonous. Fruit can be made into jams, jellies and wine. Crushed leaf has an almond scent. Wood is sought out by furniture makers because of rich orange- brown color.

.3” diameter round fruit is dark purple, almost black when ripe, with a bitter-sweet taste; matures in late summer.
Small white flowers with a fishy fragrance in hanging, narrow spikes 4 to 6” long appear in late spring.
Wildlife value: 
Many birds and mammals eat Black Cherry fruit. Deer and rabbit browse foliage and stems. Flowers produce much nectar and some pollen for bees.
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 2.00-5.00 inches
Tree height: 30.00-100.00 feet

Where to find Black Cherry on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

WAB - Walker Branch Trail 17.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.