(Black Chokecherry)

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Prunus viriginiana, Lower Cataract Lake, Summit Co. 8823

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Prunus viriginiana, Lower Cataract Lake, Summit Co. 8793

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Prunus viriginiana, Lower Cataract Lake, Summit Co. 8811

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Prunus viriginiana, Lower Cataract Lake, Summit Co. 8802

Scientific Name Prunus virginiana var. demissa or Prunus virginiana var. melanocarpa USDA PLANTS Symbol PRVID
or
PRVIM
Common Name Western Chokecherry or Black Chokecherry ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 529893
or
529894
Family Rosaceae (Rose) SEINet
Reference
demissa
or
melanocarpa
Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to montane (4000 to 10500 ft.); rocky slopes, open forests, canyon, along streams.
Plant: Shrub up to 11 feet tall; stems and branches without spines/prickles; newer stems reddish.
Leaves: Alternate, deciduous leaves, obovate to elliptic, dark green, smooth upper surfaces with toothed edges; lower surfaces of v. demissa smooth or with short, fine hairs; small hairs along veins of lower surfaces of v. melanocarpa.
Inflorescence: Racemes 1-1/2 to 4 inches long of small white flowers less than 1/2-inch across on short, hairy pedicels, each blossom with 5 white petals.
Bloom Period: April to June.
Fruit: Open clusters of red to black berries (drupes), each about 0.4-inch in diameter.
Note: V. demissa is the ITIS-accepted name, however the literature does not place this variety in Colorado. Other authorities (below) recognize v. melanocarpa as the only variety present in Colorado.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and "Rocky Mountain Plants" by Nelson and Williams.
BONAP Distribution Map

var. demissa

Map Color Key
Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County