The distinctive wild cherry is a fast growing deciduous native to Scotland, found in mixed and beech woodlands throughout the country. It’s also known as ‘gean’ and its botanical name is Prunus avium.
Facts and stats
- Uses: The wild cherry is often used as rootstock for more productive fruit bearing varieties. Its pinkish-brown wood is used to make fine furniture, musical instruments, veneers, smoking pipes and is prized for turned items such as bowls.
- Flowers: Its flowers can appear before the leaves and produce an almond-like scent.
- Fruit: Scented white flowers are followed by small green cherries, which turn red then purple when ripe. Birds quickly strip the fruit and spread the seeds by dropping or swallowing them.
- Bark: The wild cherry has smooth purplish-brown bark with metallic lustre and horizontal bands of lenticels.
- Height: Can grow up to 24 metres tall with spreading lower branches and the rest pointing up.
- Supporting insect species: 63
- Lifespan: 250 years
- Natural range: Europe, North Africa & West Asia