Are all cherries edible? (+5 cherry facts)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer “are all cherries edible?” and discuss, can you eat ornamental cherries or cherries from the cherry blossom tree, are wild cherries safe to eat, are cherry trees poisonous, how can you identify a cherry tree, and what health benefits do you get from eating cherries. 

Are all cherries edible?

Yes, all cherries are edible but some of them can taste bitter or sour and it’s better to eat them cooked, for example bird cherry. 

Can I eat ornamental cherries? 

Ornamental cherry trees usually do not produce fruit. If they do, there’s only a tiny bit of fruit around the pip which is too sour for you to eat.

Can I eat cherries from the Cherry Blossom Tree?

Yes, you can but the fruit of the cherry blossom (called sakuranbo) is usually very small and not fleshy enough. 

Cherry blossoms and their leaves are also edible and have many culinary uses especially in Japan, where they are used mostly as food ingredients.

Are wild cherries safe to eat?

Yes, mostly wild cherries are safe to eat but you should be careful when you see a cherry tree in the forest. Do not eat wild cherries unless you are one hundred percent sure that what you are eating is really a cherry.

There are two common wild cherry trees in North America that are black cherry and chokecherry. Black cherry is dark in color and also known as black mountain cherry, while Chokecherry is lighter red in color.

Are cherry trees poisonous? 

Yes, cherries belong to the genus Prunus and all cherry trees are poisonous, you can only eat the fruits. 

Leaves, barks, seeds and all other parts of cherry trees are poisonous because they contain cyanogenic glycosides which can be a cause of cyanide poisoning in humans as well as in grazing animals. Symptoms may include nausea, anxiety, headache, dizziness, and even death. 

How can I identify a cherry tree?

Cherry tree leaves may appear smooth from a distance but upon a closer look, you can see their small toothed edges. You can also check the leaves’ color which range from light to dark green and they are staggered on the stems. 

You can also distinguish a cherry tree from their relatives by examining cherry tree flowers, fruit, leaves or barks. 

Are cherry pits poisonous? What if I accidentally swallow them?

Well, it happens to most of us but there is nothing to be worried about. Cherry pits are the hard shells that encapsulate seeds and there is no harm swallowing these pits as they pass through your system undigested. 

Do you know crushing or chewing the cherry pits or seeds can be harmful? Cherry seeds contain amygdalin, a chemical that is converted into cyanide inside your body and crushing or chewing the pits or seeds exposes this chemical.

So, try to avoid chewing these pits or seeds and also teach your kids to do so.

Other FAQs about Cherry which you may be interested in.

Are cherries a berry?

What would happen if you swallowed a cherry pit?

Is swallowing cherry tree leaves dangerous to my livestock?

Yes, it is. Take care of wilted leaves of cherry trees around your meadow edges because they can cause cyanide poisoning in your animals even in a small amount, especially ruminant animals are more vulnerable to it. For example, 1.2- 4.8 pounds of wilted black cherry tree leaves can be a lethal dose for a 1200 lb cow.

Signs of cyanide poisoning in animals can appear within 15-30 min, including fast breathing, convulsions, drooling and weak pulse. Paddling of legs or kicking can also be noticed in case of an animal falling unconscious.  

So, maintain proper cleaning of wilted cherry tree leaves around your pasture regularly and do not let your animals graze upon them. You can get rid of cherry trees around your pasture edges for forever following one of these woody plant control techniques.

What health benefits do I get from eating cherries?

Eating cherries helps to reduce gout pain and arthritis and provide you a number of nutrients such as:

  • Carbohydrates- including sugars and deity fibers
  • Fats
  • Proteins
  • Minerals- including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sodium
  • Vitamins- including Vit C, K, A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and choline

Wood from the cherry trees is also used in furniture manufacturing because of its rich color.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we answered “are all cherries edible?” and discussed, can you eat ornamental cherries or cherries from the cherry blossom tree, are wild cherries safe to eat, are cherry trees poisonous, how can you identify a cherry tree, and what health benefits do you get from eating cherries. 

References

  1. https://www.livestrong.com/article/491633-can-you-eat-wild-cherries/
  2. https://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Cherry-Trees
  3. https://u.osu.edu/beef/2010/06/09/summer-storms-and-wild-cherry-trees/
  4. https://eattheplanet.org/wild-cherries-a-native-american-necessity/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_blossom
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.