Cherry, Black (Prunus serotina) - 15 Seeds

Southern Seed Exchange

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Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) - 15 Seeds

•American grown seeds
•Grow to a height of 50-60 feet.
•Stunning blooms
•USDA Zone: 3-9

This widespread species is the largest and most important native cherry. The valuable wood is used particularly for furniture, paneling, professional and scientific instruments, handles, and toys. Wild cherry syrup, a cough medicine, is obtained from the bark, and jelly and wine are prepared from the fruit. One of the first New World trees introduced into English gardens, it was recorded as early as 1629 in Europe. The dark red fruit changes to black from August through October and the crushed foliage and bark have distinctive cherry-like odor.

Medicinal Properties:
It's a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines. Black cherry bark also seems to have a sedative effect. Black cherry bark has been used to treat many other conditions, including colds, digestive problems, and pain. For colds, the bark seems to work as an astringent, drying up secretions and mucus.

Culinary Uses:
Cherries eaten raw (must be pitted) and used in jellies, jams, pies, and as a flavoring extract in drinks and syrups. Use Medicinal: Inner bark used in cough syrups, sedatives, and tonics. Use Other: Wood long used in furniture making and other things because of its lustrous, dark red tint.

Planting Instructions:
Fall sowing in mulched bed is simpler and preferable over artificial stratification, but most growers are successful mimicking indoors what occurs naturally over the winter. Sow seeds 1-2" deep, tamp soil, and mulch the seed bed. Seeds should germinate the next following spring. This plant grows best in moist soil with full sun. Water every 7-10 days. More during drought conditions.

Starting indoors: Cold stratify the seeds for 120 days, then let stand in water for 24 hours. Fill a container with seed starting mix to about ½ inch from the top. Place your seeds 1 inch to 1 ½ inches below the soil surface. Gently water your seeds to keep moist, not soaking wet. Heat & humidity is critical for germination. Germination may occur in 1 week or as long as 3 months. Place the seed container on a heat mat under growing light(s) or in a sunny window. Keep your growing lights on 14 hours per day if you choose that method. Keep your heat mat on 24 hours per day. Once your seeds germinate, move each seed into its own container under the growing lights or a sunny area and on the heat mat. Keep your seedlings indoors for 2-3 months before transplanting outdoors in the spring. Harden off one week before moving outdoors or transplanting.

Here's a video outlining the cold stratification technique:

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Collections: Fruits