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Vick, Albert F. W.
Prunus emarginata (Douglas ex Hook.) D. Dietr.
USDA Symbol: prem
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Thicket-forming shrub or small tree with rounded crown, slender, upright branches, bitter foliage, and small, bitter cherries.
This is the most common western cherry. The scientific name describes the notched petals. As the common name indicates, the fruit is not edible; like the bark and leaves, it is intensely bitter. However, the fruit is consumed by many songbirds and mammals and the foliage is browsed by deer and livestock.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, WY Canada: BC Native Distribution:
British Columbia, Washington, and W. Montana south to S. California and SW. New Mexico; to 9000 (2743 m) in south. Native Habitat:
Moist soils of valleys and on mountain slopes; in chaparral and coniferous forests.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
BenefitUse Wildlife: Seeds contained in the bright red cherries are eagerly harvested by Evening Grosbeaks in early autumn.
Warning: The seeds of all Prunus species, found inside the fruits, contain poisonous substances and should never be eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable be
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Admiral, Azure, Swallowtail (larval), orange tip, elfin, and blue (nectar) butterflies.
Nectar Source: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| FACU || FAC || FACU |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
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:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff