Cherry trees grow all over northern latitude climates and are prized for their edible fruit and the floral display they put on in the springtime. The cherry tree is one of the most widely dispersed trees on the North American continent.
Cherries are members of the genus Prunus. Cherries are drupes, sometimes called stone fruit--a type of fruit in which a single, hard seed is covered by fleshy fruit.
All sweet cherry cultivars are derived from Prunus avium, which is native to the areas between the Black and Caspian Seas. Commonly grown cultivars in the US include Bing, Napoleon, Ranier and Lambert.
Sour or tart cherries are cultivars of Prunus cerasus which originated in Iran and Turkmenistan. The most commonly grown in the US is Montmorency; and in Europe Schattenmorelle is most prevalent.
Several different types of wild cherries grow around the United States, including the choke cherry and the black cherry, but are not mass-produced as an agricultural crop. Many of these cherries are edible and are said to make great pie, jelly and wine.
Other than food crops, cherries make nice shade trees in a landscape. Many types have a bushy habit and produce suckers that develop into multiple trunks making them good for use as a windscreen.
- University of Georgia: Cherries
- University of Oregon: Chokecherry, Wild Cherry, Stone Fruit, Prunus Serotina var Virens
- MSU Cherry Information Page
bing cherry, cherry trees, cherry blossom, cherry fruit
About this Author
Brian Albert has been in the publishing industry since 1999. He is an expert in horticulture, with a focus on aquatics and tropical plants like orchids. He has successfully run an aquatic plant business for the last five years. Albert's writing experience includes the Greater Portland Aquarium Society newsletter and politics coverage for a variety of online journals.