Black cherry (Prunus serotina
) is a tree of the Rosaceae family that is native to North America, Mexico and Central America. P. serotina
is one of the largest of the cherry trees with a narrow-columnar to rounded crown.
In the spring it produces slender pendulous clusters of white fragrant flowers. It's fruits are drooping clusters of small red cherries that turn dark purple-black as they ripen in late summer. The leaves are narrow oblong-ovate to lanceolate glossy green leaves with acuminate tips and serrate margins. The leaves turn varying shades of yellow and red in the autumn.
All parts of P. serotina
contain toxic cyanogenic glucosides, capable of causing cyanide poisoning
in horses. In addition, they are also known for attracting eastern tent caterpillars, which are known for causing mare reproductive loss syndrome
in pregnant mares, resulting in abortions and stillbirths of foals.