Mayday vs chokecherry

September 3, 2019

A friend has moved into a new place with some lovely trees. I think they are Mayday but others

are saying they are chokecherry trees.

A web search has shown me they are very close in looks so I am hoping someone here

will have some ideas about how to tell them apart.

I have never tasted either, I gather from the name chokecherries aren't tasty on their own. What about the bark or leaf growth pattern, any differences there?


Comments (6)

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    there is a name that plant forum ...

    if you can post pix of leaves stems and fruit.. you will get an ID ... and then we can answer questions ...

    or you can do it here ...

    use the camera/photo button below the box you type a reply in... load the pic.. wait until it clears .. then hit send ...


    ps: one might suspect that something called 'choke'.. might not be tasty.. lol ... but i dont know .... with most of this stuff.. if you add 5 pounds of sugar.. anything can be made tasty ... lol ...

    applemum thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • Smivies (Ontario - 5b)

    Very similar...apparently they can be distinguished by their flowers. The petals of P. padus are larger than P. virginiana and the petals are also longer than the stamens. In a nutshell, petal to stamen length ratio is larger than P. virginiana.

  • FrozeBudd_z4

    Mayday has smaller often more bitter fruits and yes, fresh chokecherries can really give one that back of the throat "choking" sensation, but occassionally I come across a bush that doesn't. Chokecherry jelly is RICHLY flavored and delicious and completely loses the choke factor, it's one of my favoite of all jellies!

    Some choke less chokecherries I found growing down the road and moved them to my yard.

    applemum thanked FrozeBudd_z4
  • Embothrium

    From eFloras Flora of North America:

    Petals 2–5(–7) mm; sepals 0.7–1.4 mm (lengths equal to widths); stones ± smooth.

    7 Prunus virginiana

    + Petals (5–)6–9 mm; sepals 1.2–2 mm (lengths greater than widths); stones rugulose.

    8 Prunus padus

  • applemum

    Thank you all, no flowers at this time, :), We have decided based on taste that these in question must be chokecherries. I bought my bush labeled as a Mayday, in comparison they are much more astringent than the bush in question. I can easily eat the berries from the other tree.

    Oddly, I have a green leaf Mayday and a burgundy leaf, between them the burgundy leaf has larger berries and is more repugnant than the greenleaf.

  • Embothrium

    Presumably when you type "Mayday" you are talking about P. padus.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268