Identify a plant


Few years back city of Toronto planted the shrub in the attached as part of tree planting in the trail behind my house. The fruits are slightly sweet and have a large pit inside. I am trying to find out if the fruits are edible.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. The shrub in your photo is chokecherry (Prunus virginiana). It is native from Newfoundland to Saskatchewan and south to North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Kansas. The flesh of the fruit is edible, although it tends to be quite bitter, so it is often made into preserves, jams, pies and sauces rather than eating it raw. The seeds or pits are poisonous to humans and to livestock eg. cattle, horses, sheep that eat the berries whole, but they are not poisonous to birds or to other mammals animals eg deer, bears, since the seeds and pits pass right through their digestive systems. The seeds and pits contain amygdalin which the body converts to cyanide.

Here is an article with more information about chokecherry that you might find interesting :

Is it True Chokecherries are Poisonous?