Family:
Rosaceae
Toxins:
prunasin cyanogenic glucosides
Flower Color:
  • flower color
Type:
tree
Found:
woodlands, waterside, ornamental, roadsides, fence lines

Time of Greatest Risk

JFMAMJJASOND

Geographical Distribution

Black cherry distribution - United States

Related Species

Black Cherry

Prunus serotina

Wild Black Cherry, Rum Cherry, Mountain Black Cherry
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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.
Black cherry tree identification infographic
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.

Toxic components
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.