May. 3, 2022

perfumed cherry, Prunus mahaleb

Perfumed cherry is blooming. I noticed some in a fencerow by the pizza place yesterday. The flowers are plentiful but a little smaller than other common introduced cherries. Perfumed cherry is one of our 'locally common' introductions, and here we are definitely one of those localities. This came from eastern Europe and western Asia. In it's native areas it's grown for its fragrant seeds. The kernels of the pits are ground and used for flavoring. They're said to taste like a combination of almond and cherry, and are a little bitter. The small dark fruit is very popular with birds, which probably explains why I can't recall ever seeing any. I'll have to be more alert on pizza trips!
Perfumed cherry has been introduced to AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MO, MT, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, BC, and ON. Lenawee Co MI, 5/11/13. Rose family, Rosaceae.