Prunus cerasus L.

Sour Cherry

Sp. Pl. 1: 474 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Deciduous shrub or small tree to c. 8 m high, often suckering; young twigs glabrous. Leaves elliptic to ovate or obovate, mostly 4–8 cm long, 1.5–4 cm wide, base obtuse or rounded, apex acute to acuminate, margins crenate-serrate, glabrous, usually  with a few hairs below; petiole 5–30 mm long, glabrous. Flowers in clusters of 2–6 on short lateral shoots, appearing with or before the leaves; pedicles 10–35 mm long, glabrous. Sepals rounded, glabrous, margins glandular; petals suborbicular, white. Drupe depressed-globose, 13–20 mm diam., glabrous, bright red, flesh sour; stone subglobose, smooth. Flowers spring.

*CVU, *HSF, *VAlp. Also naturalised SA, NSW. Native to Europe and Asia, cultivated for its fruit and sometimes grown as a hedge, known from only a few records outside of cultivation in cooler regions of Victoria.

Prunus cerasus is closely related to the sweet cherry (P. avium L.), which is generally distinguished by its larger, hairy leaves, sweet fruits, and is typically a single-stemmed tree.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2016-01-14
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-03-15
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Rosales
family Rosaceae
genus Prunus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Prunus cerasus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Prunus cerasus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present introduced
Victorian Alps present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory