Sweet Cherry

Prunus avium L.

Order: Rosales

Family: Drupoideae

Names:

Prunus
Avium
Cherry

Other Names:

Cherry

Summary:

A deciduous tree, bearing clusters of round, red juicy berries.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

First leaves:

Leaves:

Light green.
Stipules -
Petiole -
Blade - 150 mm long. Edges toothed. Hairy on the underside.

Stems:

Erect, branched, up to 25000 mm tall with branches spreading to 5000 mm wide. Smooth red brown bark that peels in strips.

Flower head:

Flowers in clusters of 2 to 6.

Flowers:

White, cup shaped.
Ovary -
Calyx -
Perianth -
Sepals -
Petals - 5, white, 10 mm long.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Dark red, round, shiny berry, 10 mm in diameter.

Seeds:

Roots:

Usually planted on rootstocks.

Key Characters:

A deciduous tree, bearing clusters of round, red juicy berries.
The leaves have toothed edges and are hairy on the underside.
5 petalled white flowers.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial, deciduous tree.

Physiology:

Frost tolerant. Sensitive to drought.
Chilling requirement slightly longer than peach.

Reproduction:

Grafted cuttings. Most cultivars are self sterile and require cross fertilisation with other cultivars. Stella is self fertile.

Flowering times:

Early spring.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed or grafted stock.

Origin and History:

Europe. Western Asia.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Prefers protected sunny areas.

Climate:

Cool temperate with an annual rainfall of 760-1020 mm falling predominantly in winter.
Must be frost free in early spring.

Soil:

Prefers sandy to loamy well drained soils.
Best production from areas with a well drained light soil overlaying a friable clay subsoil.

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Widely cultivated fruit eaten fresh or used to produce glace fruit.
Honey plant.

Detrimental:

Toxicity:

No cases of toxicity have been recorded but leaves and stones are potentially toxic.

Symptoms:

HCN toxicity.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Pests include Cherry Aphis, Cherry Slug, Thrips and Two Spotted Mite.
Diseases include Armillariella Root Rot, Bacterial Gummosis, Brown Rot, Silver leaf, Shot Hole and Transit Rot.

Related plants:

Almond (Prunus amygdalus, Prunus dulcis or Prunus communis)
American Red Plum (Prunus americana)
Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)
Bird Cherry (Prunus padus)
Bullace (Prunus insititia)
Catalina Cherry (Prunus lyonii)
Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera)
Chinese Cherry (Prunus japonica)
Chinese Flowering Almond (Prunus glandulosa)
Chokecherry or Virginian Bird Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
Flowering Almond (Prunus triloba)
Fuji Cherry (Prunus incisa)
Goose Plum (Prunus hortulana)
Holy-leaved Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia)
Japanese Apricot (Prunus mume)
Japanese Cherry (Prunus sargentii)
Japanese Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata)
Japanese Plum (Prunus salicina)
Manchurian Cherry (Prunus maakii)
Nectarine (Prunus persica var. nectarina)
Peach (Prunus persica var. persica)
Perfumed Cherry or St Lucia Cherry (Prunus mahaleb)
Pin Cherry or Wild Cherry (Prunus pennsylvanica)
Plum (Prunus X domestica or Prunus spinosa)
Portugal Laurel (Prunus lusitanica)
Rosebud Cherry (Prunus subhirtella)
Sour Cherry (Prunus cerasus)
Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium)
Taiwan Cherry (Prunus campanulata)
Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Yoshino Cherry (Prunus yedoensis)

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia). P840.

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney). P607.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #1027.3.

Reid, R.L. (1990) The Manual of Australian Agriculture. (Butterworths, Sydney). P181-182.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.