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Joined: 14 Jan 2005
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Location: Eastoft
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 05 8:32 pm    Post subject: Wild cherries  Reply with quote    

I have just read with interest the "Wild foods for June" article and have a question- Are there any poisenous cherries growing wild in this country. As a child my mother used to point out the "cherry blossom in flower at the beginning of the season each year and then tell us that the cherries from it were not to be eaten. Is this correct or can i eat any cherries found in this country?

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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 05 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good question, we have a very large wild cherry in our back garden and the birds love 'em but i wonder if i could do anything with the cherries. They are very small and I dare say bitter but could they be used?


Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's a far more open ended question than you might think!

If a Brit would recognise it as a cherry, having some 'gean' or wild cherry stock in it, then you can eat it. Might not be very tasty, it's a very variable fruit, but you can eat it.

As it's been cultivated for so very, very long, the bumber of varieties you'll find is dizzying; some bitter, some sweet. But if it's Prunus avium, you're fine.

Similar trees abound in parks and gardens, and not all of them can be eaten. I wouldn't fancy eating bird cherry, pin cherry, cherry laurel, holly leaved cherry, etc.

I guess that confidende to pick and eat chherries comes down to getting a feel for picking cherry trees out. That's easier than you might imagine, the leaves (especially the leaf stems) are distinctive. Remind me, and I'll scan in some leaves and take you through it.


Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab i would really appreciate if you did give us those photo's

edinburgh is full to the brim with cherry trees and i know of an entire square planted with them just down the way from me as well as a cherry tree on the grounds of the flats where i live so this is of great interest to me. cherries are my favourite fruit ever!

i don't care if they are sour, they will still make nice jam or chutney or dry


Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Will do. I'll pick up some gean leaves and drop them on the scanner.

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