Montana Outdoors

May 19, 2012


Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:11 pm



Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, May 19


  1. Oh I love choke berry! Nice job!


    Comment by zannyro — May 19, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

  2. We have black cherry, choke cherry, and pin cherry in our region. All flowered about a week ago. Wonderful photos!


    Comment by Wild_Bill — May 19, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    • We have lots of chokecherry and if the blossoms are a good indication, it will be a good year for the berries. We’re about out of juice for making jelly and I know a good berry year would be a lot of help for the bears. We don’t have black cherry and only a very few pin cherries.


      Comment by montucky — May 19, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

  3. Beautiful – looks like a bridal bouquet. I love all the delicate yellow stamens.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — May 20, 2012 @ 1:35 am

    • Yes, I think they are very beautiful blossoms. They are about at their peak right now and it’s amazing to see how many chokecherry plants there are around here! They are so good for the wildlife!


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  4. Oohhh, this looks a LOT like what I have in my back yard! Never knew what it was until now….if it really is a chokecherry. Unfortunately this is the only photo I could find


    Comment by TheDailyClick — May 20, 2012 @ 5:10 am

    • The proof will be later in the summer when the fruit develops. Here’s what it will look like:


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

      • Another “proof” is to look for lenticels on the bark, little horizontal lines.
        Also, the presence of black knot fungus (looks just like its name) is diagnostic for cherry family plants.

        We have another native cherry called “Bitter Cherry” in our Missoula yard (Prunus emarginata). When I was trying to ID it, I found a list of Prunus species in Western Montana: P. virginiana, P pennsylvanica, P. emarginata, P. armeniaca, P. cerasifera, P. fruticosa, P. maheleb, and P. padus. How many of those are in your part of W. MT, Montucky?


        Comment by Kim — May 21, 2012 @ 11:21 am

        • I have no idea. I know from the berries though there are at least two but I haven’t researched that much.


          Comment by montucky — May 21, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

      • Must be something different after all….the flowers look the same, but I’ve never noticed any fruit…


        Comment by TheDailyClick — May 23, 2012 @ 2:57 am

  5. Lots of fruit this year! I’ve never seen fruit trees and bushes bloom like they have this spring.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 20, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    • I’ve noticed the same thing with the blossoms, but now has been so dry here I wonder if the fruit will be good. I’ve seen wild rose buds just shrivel up without opening and the grasses are as dry now as they would normally be in August. We’ve had a pseudo-wet spring: lots of days with rain, but only a few drops each time, not good soaking rain. I came across some Camas in bloom today and the size of those flowers was about a quarter of normal.


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

      • That doesn’t sound good. I hope you see some rain soon. We were in a 6 week drought but luckily recent rains have ended that. Still, I’ve noticed things like painted trillium flowers are much smaller this year and the lilac blossoms are turning brown much faster than normal. That could be the very unusual heat though-it was 87 degrees here yesterday!


        Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 21, 2012 @ 6:28 am

        • We have had some rain today but I don’t think it measures much. It brought some relief though and more showers are forecast.


          Comment by montucky — May 21, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

  6. I always like these. A few of the trees in the sun are out, but most are still budded here. It is amazing much ahead of us the gardens and wild things are just a 100 miles to the south.


    Comment by sandy — May 20, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    • Blossoms have just exploded in the past couple of weeks because of some warm weather, but it is so dry now that I’m concerned for the rest of the bloomers and for the fruit.


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

  7. Hi Montucky, Pretty blossoms I bet they are fragrant. You take great pictures! Have a really good day!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — May 20, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    • There are lots of scents in the air now, and lots of pollen as well, especially from the trees.


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

  8. The national map showed this in Texas, but when I looked further, I saw that it’s only in West Texas and the Panhandle – and not all counties there. That explains why I don’t remember seeing it.

    The blossoms do remind me of a favorite from my midwestern days – bridal wreath, or spirea. Those flowers cluster differently of course, and aren’t in this family at all, but the way the tiny white blossoms cluster together is the same.


    Comment by shoreacres — May 20, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    • Clusters of white blossoms is a very popular strategy here. Hawthorn, elderberry, Yarrow, Red Dogwood and some pears all do it too.

      It’s a plant I like very much because of the jelly that we make from the berries. I can’t think of anything as good as chokecherry jelly!


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

  9. Lovely! Very dainty looking flower!


    Comment by allbymyself09 — May 20, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    • They are. And when the bloom is spent, the petals drop and land on the foliage below and re-decorate everything.


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

  10. Nice close up–almost from a bee’s point of view.



    Comment by knightofswords — May 20, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

    • I would think with having all of those blossoms clustered together it would be paradise for a bee.


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  11. oh my goodness, these are gorgeous captures!


    Comment by Tammie — May 20, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  12. Beautiful photos Montucky, I’ve eaten the berries before but never saw the blossoms till now. Thanks for sharing!!!


    Comment by dhphotosite — May 21, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    • The blossoms are really enjoyable and they are everywhere. I hope for a very good berry year!


      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

  13. How very lovely! I love the spray of delicate, special looking star-like white flowers.


    Comment by Anna Surface — May 21, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

  14. Oh, how lovely! Chokeberries….haven’t eaten chokeberry jelly in ages!! Don’t even know anyone who makes it any more (my grandma did).


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 23, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

    • We still have some juice in the freezer from two years ago that we will have to make into jelly. I’m hoping for a good berry year this year so I can get more. We love it and it makes a very popular gift.


      Comment by montucky — May 23, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

  15. So pretty and delicate. I agree with your other commenter that they look like bridal bouquets.


    Comment by Candace — May 23, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    • They do look like bouquets. They are past their prime now and I’m really hoping that the fruit will set. It has been a terrific year for the blossoms.


      Comment by montucky — May 23, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

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