Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) Plants
Sun, Part Sun
height to 70', Spread 35'
Ships as 12-18" plant
The only edible part of the plant is the fleshy part of the fruit..
This widespread species is the largest and most important native cherry. It starts producing fruit in less than 10 years and can continue doing so for 170 years.
Plants should not be disturbed after becoming established and have a fairly shallow root system, making them susceptible to damage from anything stacked, stored, or parked within the drip-line and slightly beyond. It likes moist, rich soil with minimal competition from any other plants, including grasses- so mulching is a good idea.
If eating them raw choose the darkest and softest cherries, make sure you spit out the seed.
If you can pit sufficient cherries to make a cherry and apple pie, you won’t regret it. However, these wild cherries are not as sweet as regular cherries, and may require more sugar in the recipe (according to your taste preference). Pitted wild cherries make great accent fruits in fruit salads, green salads, and chicken and tuna salads. For a wicked dessert idea, try soaking them in rum or brandy for a while, then pour them over ice cream or even waffles with some whipped cream.
If you are lucky enough to be able to harvest some black cherries, try making a sauce. The recipe is fairly simple and easy to make. Depending on how much you reduce the sauce, you can make a useful black cherry syrup, which can be added to seltzer for a refreshing drink or taken straight as an very effective treatment for coughs and bronchitis.
WILD BLACK CHERRY SAUCE By Lisa Caccamise
Makes about 3/4 cup
2 cups black cherries, no need to pull the stems as they will be strained out along with the pits.
water to cover
1/4 cup sugar or more to taste
1. Add cherries and water to a medium pot and bring to a boil.
2. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, then uncover and simmer another 15-30 minutes or until cherries are soft and liquid is reduced by 1/2.
3. Cool slightly.
4. Add cherries to a food mill, or to a fine sieve and mill or press the cherries until the seeds release and the juice strains into a clean pot.
5. Add sugar to a taste.
6. Bring the liquid, if watery, to a boil and reduce until desired thickness.