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PRUNUS virginiana 'Schubert'

Image of Prunus virginiana 'Schubert'

James H. Schutte

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

PRUNUS virginiana 'Schubert'

Plant Common Name

Chokecherry, Purpleleaf Chokecherry, Schubert Chokecherry

General Description

Introduced in 1943, ‘Schubert’ is a chokecherry cultivar which has long been valued for its striking red-purple summer foliage. Its parent is a deciduous small tree native to central North America which typically suckers to form a thicket. An individual tree's canopy is usually pyramid-like, with a smooth to slightly platy gray-brown bark.

The glossy leaves of 'Schubert' emerge green in spring, changing to an appealing wine-red as they mature. Overall, the tree grows its finest in regions with cool to warm summers, not hot and humid. By late spring many small, fragrant white flowers open on dangling spikes, called racemes, and are pollinated by bees. Small round red fruits develop over the summer darkening to red or black when fully ripe. These have an astringent flavor which gives the plant its common name. Fall foliage color ranges from shades of pale yellow to orange and bright red.

Chokecherry grows well in full sun to partial shade, and performs best in deep, fertile soils. Wildlife friendly and highly ornamental, it makes a great windbreak or buffer plant on the edges of properties. The fruits are eaten by many animals and are also edible to humans, sometimes used to make a delicious sweet preserve. However, there are some health concerns relating to the consumption of this plant by humans and mammals. For more information on this topic, go to http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_prvi.pdf .

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 6

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 10, 16

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Width

    15'-22' / 4.6m - 6.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    North America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Hedges, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes