PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Pin cherry

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Prunus pensylvanica /             Rosaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  bird cherry, fire cherry, pin cherry, and red cherry

CONDITIONS: full sun
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

       

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

sour

RAW/DRY/COOK

Aug

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small-medium

 

COMMENT:  Fruit - raw or cooked. A thin sour flesh. Usually too sour to be eaten raw, it is used mainly for making pies, jellies etc. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter and contains one large seed. (1)

 

CAUTION: The seed and leaves contain hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is readily detected by its bitter taste. Usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm, any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.(1)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  Bark. Antitussive;  Astringent;  Febrifuge;  Ophthalmic;  Pectoral;  Poultice;  Salve.

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-771/sour-cherry

https://draxe.com/benefits-of-cherries  

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Basketry;  Dye;  Gum;  Pioneer;  Soil stabilization;  Wood. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. The outer bark is used to ornament baskets. It is watertight and resists decay. The tree has a vigorous root system and is sometimes planted to stabilise soils and contain erosion. It is a good pioneer species for burnt over land. It establishes quickly, providing shelter for other woodland trees and then dying out. Wood - light, soft, close grained. A gum that exudes from the trunk can be used as a chewing gum.(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. http://pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+pensylvanica
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_pensylvanica
  3. https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/prunus/pensylvanica (good photos)