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| Common Choke Cherry, Chokecherry, Wild Black Cherry, Cabinet Cherry, Rum Cherry, Whiskey Cherry, Black Chokeberry, Caupulin|
In Texas the common choke cherry grows on bluffs and rimrock, rocky slopes, sparse woods and even seepage areas from East Texas to the panhandle to the Trans-Pecos. This very widespread plant also ranges into New Mexico, the West Coast and through the Northwest into British Columbia; also through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Georgia, north to Maine and Newfoundland. It may be a small tree or a large shrub with a rounded crown, and tends to form extensive thickets from root sprouts. Crooked branches and slender twigs bear thin-bladed, 1- to 4-inch-long serrulate dark green leaves, lustrous above, paler beneath, having a strong aroma when bruised. The fall color is yellow. The white spring to early summer flowers are held on 3- to 6-inch dense cylindric racemes. They are followed by 1/4- to 1/3-inch-diameter juicy, thick-skinned, astringent and barely edible dark red fruit which ripens to dark purple or black. The fruit makes fine preserves and is also enjoyed by at least 40 species of birds and browsed by black bear and cottontails. The bark is sometimes used to flavor cough syrup. Chokecherry was introduced into cultivation in 1724 and is widely cultivated, planted for ornament and erosion control.
Plant Habit or Use: large shrub
Flower Color: white
Blooming Period: spring
Fruit Characteristics: dark red, purple, black cherry
Height: 20 to 30 feet
Width: 18 to 25 feet
Plant Character: deciduous
Heat Tolerance: high
Soil Requirements: adaptable