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'Midnight' Choke Cherry


Latin Name: Prunus virginiana


Family: Rosaceae

Native Range: Canada and Northern United States

Seed Source: Choke cherry shelterbelt, near Indian Head Saskatchewan.

Height and Spread: 7m x 4m

Overview: 'Midnight' Choke cherry is an excellent choice for agroforestry planting in cold temperate regions. This seeds train was selected to produce large yields of black cherries. 

Fruits: Black fruit borne in clusters, 8-12 mm across. About 10 seeds per gram.


Stratification: Stratify in moist sand (10 percent moisture) for 30 days at room temperature (20°C) followed by 120 days at 5°C.

Ideal sowing time: Non-pretreated seed in outdoors in July (will germinate the following spring) or stratified seed in spring.

Sowing instructions: Outdoor seedbed - Sow 2 cm deep and 50 seeds/meter; Greenhouse - sow 3 seeds per cell 1 cm deep.

Growing conditions: Choke cherry will thrive under just about every condition imaginable, except for heavy shade.


'Midnight' choke cherry is an excellent seed strain for field and farmstead shelterbelts, intercropping, reclamation and wildlife habitat plantings. All plants produce fruit which can be used for berry harvest. Fruit is astringent but edible and makes excellent juice, syrup or jelly.