The chokecherry is closely related to the black cherry. Chokecherries were the most important fruit in several Native American tribes as it was not only used for food but for medicinal purposes as well including the treatment of fevers and colds. Legend has it the Sacagawea was captured by Blackfoot while she collected chokecherries and taken east where she met Lewis and Clark.
Grows throughout the West but also spans Canada and the northern US.
The chokecherry can be described as either a large deciduous shrub or small tree seldom above 30 feet. Its bark is thin and scaly yet without lenticels, and the leaves are simple and oval-shaped. Fruit is small and purple with a single seed inside.
Deer and elk will eat leaves and twigs. Birds and small mammals will eat the fruits.
It loves sunny, moist areas in the southern Willamette Valley, southwestern Oregon and northeast Oregon.
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
The management of chokecherry requires control of weedy vegetation and treatment for potential diseases.