Prunus mahaleb (Mahaleb Cherry, St. Lucie Cherry) is a small deciduous tree belonging to the Rosaceae family. It is native to regions of Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. While it is not primarily cultivated for its fruit, it does produce small cherries that have limited culinary uses. Mahaleb Cherry is primarily grown for its attractive flowers, ornamental value, and its use as a rootstock for grafting other cherry varieties.
Size and Growth Habit: Mahaleb Cherry typically grows to a height of 6-12 meters (20-40 feet) with a rounded to spreading crown. It has a moderate growth rate and usually develops a multi-stemmed or shrub-like form.
Leaves: The leaves of Mahaleb Cherry are alternate, simple, and ovate to lanceolate in shape. They have serrated margins and a glossy dark green color. In the autumn, the leaves turn yellow to orange before falling.
Flowers: Mahaleb Cherry produces small white flowers that are borne in clusters. The flowers have five petals and a pleasant fragrance. They bloom in spring, usually in April or May, before or at the same time as the leaves emerge. The flowers attract pollinators such as bees.
Fruit: The fruit of Mahaleb Cherry is a small cherry that is about 5-8 millimeters in diameter. The cherries are initially green and then turn dark red to black when ripe. However, the fruit is not commonly consumed by humans due to its sour taste and small size. It is occasionally used in the production of liqueurs and preserves.
Bark and Wood: The bark of Mahaleb Cherry is smooth and grayish-brown when young but becomes darker and develops shallow furrows and fissures with age. The wood of Mahaleb Cherry is hard and close-grained, but it is not widely used commercially.
Botanical Name : Prunus mahaleb
Common Name : Mahaleb Cherry
Height : 20-30 ft
Spread : 15 ft
Germination Info : Seed requires 90 days cold moist stratification
Hardiness zone : 6-8
Average seed per ounce : Approx. 300