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Montana Field Guides

Mahaleb Cherry - Prunus mahaleb
Other Names:  Perfumed Cherry, St. Lucie Cherry

Non-native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA
C-value: 1

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Shrub to small tree. Branchlets tomentose, becoming glabrous and pruinose. Petioles 6-12 mm long. Leaf blades 3-5(-7) cm long, broadly ovate to orbicular, tip abruptly short-acuminate, based rounded to subcordate, margins finealy serrate with gland near sinus, hairy on veins below. Stipules ovate-lanceolate, glandular, caducous. Flower pedicels 10-14 mm long, glabrous. Calyx lobes 1.6-2 mm, ovate, entire,glabrous, becoming sharply reflexed. Petals 5-8 mm long, obovate, narrowed at base, white. Fruit ca. 6 mm in diameter, ovoid, dark red to black, glossy (adapted from: McGregor, 1986, Flora of the Great Plains).

Range Comments
Introduced horticulturally; widespread but erratic across much of North America (Kartesz in prep. 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 6

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Old farmsteads and escaping into woods, thickets and along streams (Flora of the Great Plains 1986).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus bifarius, Bombus huntii, Bombus mixtus, Bombus ternarius, Bombus terricola, Bombus occidentalis, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, and Bombus impatiens (Macior 1968, Heinrich 1976, Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Williams et al. 2014).


  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Macior, L.M. 1968. Bombus (Hymenoptera, Apidae) queen foraging in relation to vernal pollination in Wisconsin. Ecology 49:20-25.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Mahaleb Cherry — Prunus mahaleb.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from