SPECIES ID / Riparian Plants – Tree

Bitter cherry


Prunus emarginata


Category: pioneer
Height: 15.0 m
Flowers: white
Berries: red
Moisture: wet-medium
Shade: intolerant
Beaver Protection Required: yes
Habitat Notes:

Identification Tips:

• Medium sized deciduous tree with alternate leaves
• Leaves 3-8 cm, oval-shaped, with fine teeth and rounded tips
• Flowers white or pinkish in flat topped clusters of 5 to 10
• Bright red cherries, 1 cm diameter

Restoration Notes:

• Important forage species for deer
• Fruit eaten by wide variety of mammals, birds insects and slugs
• In traditional Indigenous cultures, bark and fruit were used medicinally, bark widely used as tough, waterproof, rot-resistant binding for tools and structures; wood is excellent fuel

• Commonly used species in restoration work; establishes well on disturbed sites and after fires
• Typically lives 30-40 years