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How To Order: Quantity options listed represent bulk weights. Examples: 1 = 1 lbs, 25 = 25 bs. 


Common Name: Black Chokecherry

Scientific Name: Prunus virginiana

Native / Introduced: Native

Main Uses:

~Nutritional value for livestock and wildlife

~Reclamation revegetation


~Native landscaping"

Height: 5 - 28 feet

Colors:  White blossoms, red to dark maroon berries

Flowering Season: Late summer, early fall

Elevation: 3,500 - 9,000 feet

Soil Types: Well drained, moist soils


~Some acid and alkali

~Cold tolerant

Sun or Shade: Prefers full sun

Minimum Precipitation: 12 – 15 inches

Lifecycle: Perennial

Estimated Seeds Per Pound: 4,800 seeds

Optimal Planting Season: Fall

Planting Depth: ½ – 1 inch deep

Stratification Requirements: 2-4 months in a freezer

Category: Shrub



Also known as Bitter-Cherry and Virginia Bird Cherry. Chokecherry is a deciduous shrub or small tree that can grow to a height of 5 to 30 feet. It is commonly found throughout most of the United States, ranging from elevations of 3,500 to 9,000 feet. This plant is adaptable to various soil textures, with the exception of dense clay. It thrives in moist and fertile locations such as canyon bottoms, ditch and stream banks, roadsides, as well as cool and moist foothill and mountain habitats.


The chokecherry demonstrates tolerance to moderately acidic, alkaline, and weak saline soils. It is also capable of withstanding cold temperatures. It often spreads through rhizomes, forming loose thickets. However, it is not tolerant of poor drainage or high water tables. Livestock generally find the chokecherry to have fair palatability, while browsing wildlife find it highly palatable.


The berries produced by the chokecherry serve as excellent food for birds and small mammals. This plant can be toxic to humans. It is useful for revegetating disturbed soils caused by activities such as mining and road construction. It is also utilized for enhancing wildlife habitats, establishing windbreaks, and incorporating native landscaping.


Chokecherry is intolerant of shade, poor drainage, frequent flooding and soils with a large amount of clay.



NRCS Profile:

NRCS Planting Guide:

NRCS Fact Sheet:


Photo Credit: Matt Lavin and Joshua Mayer

Black Chokecherry


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