Black Cherry - Prunus serotina Rose Family (Rosaceae)

Black cherry is the largest cherry native to Kentucky.1

It is a valuable forestry plant because the wood is prized for carpentry.1

The fruit of black cherry has a bitter sweet flavor and is used to make jelly and wine.1

Birds, squirrels, deer, raccoon, black bears, ruffed grouse, opossum and turkey are among the animals that eat the fruit of black cherry.1

The bark, leaves and twigs of this tree are poisonous to livestock, although deer can eat the leaves without harm.1

In the southern Appalachian Mountains, the bark of black cherry has been used in cough medicines and sedatives.1

The simple alternative leaves have finely toothed margins. The tree has small white flowers in elongated clusters. The flowers have a slightly unpleasant odor.2