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'Midnight' Choke Cherry Seed


Latin Name: Prunus virginiana


Family: Rosaceae

Native Range: Canada and the Northern United States

Seed Source: Natural stand growing near Jansen Lake, Saskatchewan.

Height and Spread: 7m x 4m

Overview: 'Midnight' Choke cherry is an excellent choice for agroforestry planting in cold temperate regions. This seed strain was selected many years ago by a local farmer because of its consistent production of large yields of black cherries. 

Fruits: Black fruit borne in clusters, 8-12 mm across.

Average number of seeds/packet: 150


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 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 that can be used for berry harvest. The fruit is astringent but edible and makes excellent juice, syrup, or jelly.