Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Sweet Cherry - Prunus avium   L.
Members of Rosaceae:
Members of Prunus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Rosales » Family Rosaceae
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DistributionMainly Mountains; disjunct to Durham County (Duke Forest). Specimens from Davidson, Haywood, Jackson, Mecklenburg, and Wake counties are all from cultivated plants. Another from Madison County was annotated to P. cerasus.

Native of Eurasia; in N.A. southern Canada south to SC and AZ, absent from the Midwest plains and the Deep South.
AbundanceRare to uncommon in the Mountains; very rare elsewhere.
HabitatDisturbed woods, pasture, fencerow, roadside. Found as high as 3500 feet.
PhenologyFlowering March-May; fruiting June-July.
IdentificationSweet Cherry is a small tree with a full crown. Leaves are elliptic to obovate, 3-6 inches long, with a drip-tip, margins doubly crenate-serrate, upper surface glabrate, lower surface pubescent on the veins, at least. Flowers grow singly or in small fascicles of 2-3, on stalks greater than 4 mm long. Petals are 9-15 mm long (vs. 7.5 mm maximum in P. mahaleb). Leaves are persistently hairy beneath (vs. glabrous at maturity in P. cerasus).
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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US Status
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USACE-empUPL link
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B.A. SorrieRoadside edge of woods, Taunton, MA; 1980s. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
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