National Cherry Day

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Walking through the campus today I noticed a few dark red cherries on the trees in our green spaces.

The majority of eating cherries are cultivars of either Prunus avium, the wild cherry, or Prunus cerasus, the sour cherry. This put me in mind of an inconsistency in the naming of the cherry family. The literal meaning of the name of the wild cherry Prunus avium is ‘bird cherry’, but the tree which is commonly described by that name in Britain is Prunus padus. Both  trees are common in the area around Manchester. The Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) has beautiful white flowers, but the fruits are small and astringent and not good to eat.

Flowers of the Bird Cherry, Prunus padus, an enquiry made by Tom Goss, one of our educators, in April.

In some years the wild cherry produces bumper crops. Despite  the dry weather in June, this year has been good. There are lots of trees in the hedgerows near where I live near Warrington. There is a lot of variability between trees, some produce excellent edible fruit, others are poor.  National cherry day is on the18th of July, for further information click here.

A bumper cherry harvest picked from trees around Birchwood. This will keep us going for a few months!
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