Fire Cherries

Walking across my hill top in Western Pennsylvania today the single flowering plant that stands out the best is the fire cherry. The young plants in particular have a bright red bark that announces itself in every sense except perhaps for taste. This plant, botanically Prunus pensylvanica, was one we shied away from when cutting hotdog and marshmallow sticks as kids. Supposedly this cherry in particular contains more cyanic compounds than most.

Right now these trees are easy to spot from a distance by their bright white floral displays. They are never difficult to identify though. Even in winter the red color of the bark will give them away.

I’m also seeing a few clove currant blooms and some gooseberry and black currants in bloom right now as well. Dandelions have been blooming for the last day or two as well. Those in particular I usually expect to see in force starting around the end of the first week in May.

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