Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Prunus mahaleb
mahaleb cherry, perfumed cherry

Distribution: Ocurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Montana, Idaho, Utah, and also in the eastern United States.

Flowers: May - June

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, flies, beetles


Spreading tree to 10 m. tall, the twigs pubescent, the bark grayish-red.


Leaves alternate, deciduous, the petioles puberulent, 8-15 mm. long, the blades oval to broadly elliptic-ovate, 2-5 cm. long, abruptly acute, with fine, rounded, gland-tipped teeth, glabrous and pale green.


Flowers 4-12 in short, leafy-bracteate racemes, the pedicels up to 2 cm. long; calyx greenish-white, the 5 lobes entire, oblong-lanceolate, 3 mm. long, equal to the tube; petals 5, white, oblanceolate, 7-9 mm. long; stamens about 20; pistil 1, simple.


Drupe ovate, 6-8 mm. long, nearly black.

Accepted Name:
Prunus mahaleb L.
Publication: Species Plantarum 1: 474. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Prunus mahaleb in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Prunus mahaleb checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Prunus mahaleb information.

E-Flora BC: Prunus mahaleb atlas page.

CalPhotos: Prunus mahaleb photos.

USDA Plants: Prunus mahaleb information.

18 photographs:
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