Prunus avium L. - Cherry.

Taxonomic position.

Family Rosaceae Juss, genus Cerasus Hill


Cerasus avium (L.) Moench, C. nigra Mill., C. dulcie Gaertn.

Biology and morphology.

It is a tree that reaches 25-33 m tall with obovate crown. Trunk reaches 50-60 cm in diameter. Shoots are hairless, yellowish or reddish brown with grey thin coating. Leaves are obovate or elliptic, to 16 cm long, 8 cm wide, pointed, shiny, toothed. Young leaves with slight pubescence below, adult leaves with pubescence below totally or along veins. Stalk is 2-5 cm long, with 1-3 glands in upper part, hairless. Flowers in clusters of 2-6 with scales at the base; corolla 2.5-3 cm in diameter, white, sepals turned back, reddish; pedicels 2-6 cm long, hairless. Fruit are round cherries (15-24 X 17-26 mm, weight 2.5-10 g) yellow, black-red or black, with juicy sweet or bitter-sweet flesh; stone round or obovate, pale-yellow-brown 6-8 X 5-7 mm, weight is 0.23-0.44 g. Blossoms during leaf appearance in April-May, fruits ripen in June-July. 2n=16.


Maximum species diversity is located between the Black and Caspian seas. Cultivated form originated from wild species dating back to prehistoric times. It took third place among fruit growing in the USSR and covered 90 thousand hectares. Plantings are concentrated in south Ukraine, North Caucasus, Moldova, Transcaucasia. Cherry is grown on individual holdings in almost all regions of the European part of Russia, until Vologda. Single trees are found in Kurgan, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Sakhalin regions. 75 types are in local use. Most popular varities include: Aprel'ka, Belaya iz Bordo, Bigarro Groll'a, Krasnodarskaja rann'aja, Drogana zheltaja, Moldavskaja chernaja, Napoleon rozovaja, L'ubskaja, Zor'ka, Zhukovskaja, Galochka, Voronezhskaja rann'aja, Original'naja, Julia.


It is a plant of temperate warm and hot climates, demands light, is cross-pollinated (therefore 3-4 types of plant are cultivated together). Frost resistance is weak. Plant does not endure dryness and high air humidity. It prefers moderately wet soil, especially calcareous soils with light soil texture rich with minerals. Plants can live up to 80-100 years. Tree can bear fruit after 4-7 years.

Utilization and economic value.

The average productivity for this species reaches 40-50 kg per tree (6.2-6.8 tons per hectare by planting 8x8 m). Productivity in more northern districts reaches 10-25 kg per tree. Fruits contain 10.1-14.6% sugars (up to 18%), 0.32-1.29% acids, 0.19-0.26% cellulose, 0.46-0.71% pectins and vitamins A and C.
Flowers are used for honey. Fruits are used as a food source (fresh berries, jam, wine). Seed oil is used for perfumery. Bark is used for tanning and dyeing materials. Wood is used in carpentry. Trees are planted as a shelter belt and along roads. The plant has significant decorative properties.

Reference citations:

Bakhteev F.H. 1970. Important fruit cultures. Moscow: Prosveshzhenie. 351 p. (in Russian).
Kolesnikov M.A. 1959. Cherry. Moscow: Sel.hozgiz. 199 p. (in Russian).
Kramer Z. 1987. Intensity culture of cherry. Moscow: Agropromizdat. 167 p. (in Russian).
Pavlov, N.V., ed. 1961. Flora of Kazakhstan. V. IV. Alma-Ata: Publisher of Academy of Science of Kazakhstan Soviet Republic. 548 p. (in Russian).
Sokolov S.Y., ed. 1954. Trees and shrubs of USSR. V. III. Moscow-Leningrad: Publisher of Academy of Science of the USSR. 372 p. (in Russian).
Vekhov V.N., Gubanov I.A., Lebedeva G.F. 1978. Cultural plants of the USSR. Moscow: Mysl.. 336 p. (in Russian).
Vitkovsky V.L. 2003. Fruit Plants of the World. St. Petersburg-Moscow-Krasnodar: Lan'. 592 p. (in Russian).
Voronchikhina A.J. 1975. Cherry. Voronezh: Knizhnoe Punlisher. 22 p. (in Russian).
Zhukovskii P.M. 1771. Cultural Plants and their Relatives. Leningrad: Kolos. 751 p. (in Russian).

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