Wild Cherry

By The Old House Web

Wild Cherry

Several wild cherries produce edible fruit, however the pits should not be eaten raw. The cyanide contained within the pits is destroyed when the berries are cooked.

The choke cherry is known botanically as Prunus virginiana. The inner layers of bark have a disagreeable odor. The large clusters of white, fragrant flowers are followed by pea-sized fruit. The fruits ripen from July to September and change from red to purplish- black. The fruits are too tart to be eaten raw but, with pectin added, are used to make jelly.

The pin cherry or Prunus pennsylvanica produces light red fruit. These can be used to make jelly but are too tart to eat raw.

Black cherry, Prunus serotina, is a large tree that produces drooping clusters of white flowers in late May. The fruits change from bright red to purplish-black as they ripen. This wild cherry is sweet enough to be eaten raw although it is a bit tart. The fruits can be used in jelly, with pectin added, or in sauce or pie.

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