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Prunus serotina var. rufula (Woot. & Standl.) McVaugh
Southwestern black cherry, Chisos black cherry
Synonyms: Prunus serotina ssp. virens var. rufula
USDA Symbol: PRSER2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Following McVaughs description, Prunus serotina var. rufula is a variety of P. serotina that occurs from southeastern Arizona and New Mexico south through the Sierra Madre Occidental to the Mexican states of Durango and Guanajuato. It and variety virens are subsumed under subspecies virens, which is characterized by smaller size than more easterly varieties (to 30 ft. tall), generally diminished leaf and branch size, and an often shrubby form. Variety rufula is distinguished from variety virens by densely rufous-hirsutulous branchlets and raceme axes and shorter, stouter petioles 5-7 mm in length. Despite McVaughs description, widely referenced Texas botanist Benny Simpson has referred Texas populations to variety rufula, and other Texas plant writers have followed his example.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
Bloom Notes: Blooms right after leaf emergence.
AZ , NM Native Distribution:
Per McVaugh, from southeastern Arizona and New Mexico south through the Sierra Madre Occidental to Durango and Guanajuato in Mexico Native Habitat:
Streamsides, river banks, canyons USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Showy, easily grown shrub
or small tree
with ornamental blooms and fruits Use Wildlife: Fruit
eaten by a variety of birds and mammals. Flowers visited by insects. Use Food:
Cherries eaten raw (must be pitted) and used in jellies, jams, pies, and as a flavoring extract in drinks and syrups. Use Medicinal:
used in cough syrups, sedatives, and tonics. Use Other:
Wood long used in furniture making and other things because of its lustrous, dark red tint. Warning:
All parts of Prunus species except the fruits contain poisonous substances and should never be eaten. The bark,
leaves, and seeds of this species are especially toxic. POISONOUS PARTS: Wilted leaves, twigs (stems), seeds. Highly toxic to humans and herbivorous mammals. May be fatal if ingested. Symptoms include gasping, weakness, excitement, pupil dilation, spasms, convulsions, coma, respiratory failure. Toxic Principle: Cyanogenic glycoside, amygdalin, prussic acid. Conspicuous Flowers:
Birds , Butterflies Larval Host:
For a variety of butterflies and moths Nectar Source:
Hardwood Cuttings , Root Cuttings , Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings , Softwood Cuttings Description:
Seeds require cold stratification. Cuttings that work best are summer semi-hardwood. Seed Collection:
: Collect fruit
when it is filled out, firm, and its ripe color. Clean seeds from pulp and briefly air dry. (Seeds to be sown immediately in fall do not need drying.) Storage viability is maintained at 31-41 degrees. Maintenance:
Keep fallen leaves, twigs, and branches picked up if you have herbivorous animals, as all parts except the fruit
are highly toxic.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TX
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Record Modified: 2011-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG