Origin: Eastern North America (cultivated variety)
Schubert cherry is a tall shrub or small tree with a rounded crown and often dense foliage.Read more about Tree, Bark, Twigs
Leaves are purple-red when mature, oval or nearly so, with fine teeth on the edge.Read more about Leaves
Flowers are small, white, with protruding stamens, borne in compact, elongated clusters in spring.Read more about Flowers
Fruits are shiny, dark red or black when ripe, borne in elongated clusters of 8 - 12.Read more about Fruit
Schubert cherry is a tall shrub or small tree, to 4 - 10 m (13' - 33') tall, and 15 cm (6") diameter with a variable, but often rounded crown.
The slender flexible branches grow upward when young. With age there are often lower drooping branches.
Leaves are 4 - 12 cm (1 1/2" - 4 3/4") long, oval or widest just above the middle with an abrubtly pointed tip and edges with fine, sharp-pointed teeth.
Flowers are small, white, with protruding stamens, borne in compact elongated clusters 8 - 15 cm (3" - 6") long.
Flowers open in late spring, before the new leaves have fully developed, and while they are still green.
Individual fruits are round, 8 - 10 mm (less than 1/2") in diameter, juicy with a pit (stone) inside.
Schubert cherry, also known as Canada Red cherry or Purple-leaved Chokecherry, is a cultivated variety of the native chokecherry Prunus virginiana. It was specifically bred for its purple foliage.
Derivation of names
The genus name Prunus is the classical Latin name for the plum tree, from the Greek word prunos, meaning plum. This genus includes all species of cherry, plum, almond and peach. The species name virginiana is the Latin for "of Virginia", a reference to the purported distribution of the plant when it was first named by Linnaeus.
Schubert cherry's place in Toronto's urban forest
Schubert Cherry's purple leaves make it a colourful addition to the urban forest and it has been frequently planted in parks.
Landscape value and potential for home planting
Schubert cherry is attractive for its foliage and small size. It prefers mostly sunny sites with good soil. All parts of the tree, except for the flesh of the fruit, contain hydrocyanic acid, which is toxic to humans and some animals.
Pests and diseases: Schubert cherry is a favoured food of tent caterpillars which cover the branches and leaves in their silky nests.
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