Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 09/12/2014

Photo taken on October 24, 2013

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Pequest River
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Kittatinny Valley State Park
Prunus virginiana
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Chokecherries – Kittatinny Valley State Park, Andover, New Jersey

Chokecherries – Kittatinny Valley State Park, Andover, New Jersey
Prunus virginiana, commonly called bitter-berry, chokecherry, Virginia bird cherry and western chokecherry, is a species of bird cherry native to North America; the natural historic range of P. virginiana includes most of the continent, except for the far north and far south.

For many Native American tribes of the Northern Rockies, Northern Plains, and boreal forest region of Canada and the United States, chokecherries were the most important fruit in their diets. The bark of chokecherry root was once made into an asperous-textured concoction used to ward off or treat colds, fever and stomach maladies by native Americans The inner bark of the chokecherry, as well as red osier dogwood, or alder, was also used by natives in their smoking mixtures, known as kinnikinnick, to improve the taste of the bearberry leaf. The chokecherry fruit can be used to make a jam, jelly, or syrup, but the bitter nature of the fruit requires sugar to sweeten the preserves.

Chokecherry is toxic to horses, and moose, cattle, goats, deer, and other animals with segmented stomachs (rumens), especially after the leaves have wilted (such as after a frost or after branches have been broken) because wilting releases cyanide and makes the plant sweet. About 10–20 lbs of foliage can be fatal. Symptoms of a horse that has been poisoned include heavy breathing, agitation, and weakness. The leaves of the chokecherry serve as food for caterpillars of various Lepidoptera. See List of Lepidoptera which feed on Prunus.

o0o I wonder, if the birds eat them unharmed oOo
4 years ago.