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St. Lucie's Cherry

Prunus mahaleb

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
10 metres tall
Gardens, grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Short spikes of pure white flowers, in clusters of 3 to 10. Each flower is up to 2cm in diameter. Pollinated by insects.
Black cherries, 6mm in diameter.
The smooth, green leaves alternate along the branches and grow to a maximum of 5cm long and 4cm wide. They are oval to heart-shaped and their tips are pointed. The margins are serrated.
The flowers are very fragrant.
Other Names:
Mahaleb Cherry, St Lucie Cherry.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Prunus mahaleb, also known as St. Lucie cherry or mahaleb cherry, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family. It is native to the Mediterranean region and is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant and for its edible fruit. The plant is known for its small, white flowers and leaves with serrated edges. It grows well in a variety of habitats, including gardens, orchards, and along roadsides. Prunus mahaleb is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 10 meters in height. It is commonly cultivated for its attractive flowers and edible fruit, which are small and dark red in color. The tree is also used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.


St. Lucie's cherry, scientifically known as Prunus mahaleb, is a type of cherry that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a small and sweet fruit that is prized for its unique flavor and versatility. St. Lucie's cherry is also known for its numerous health benefits and its attractive appearance, making it a popular fruit for all occasions.

One of the key benefits of St. Lucie's cherry is its high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for our bodies because they help protect us from harmful free radicals. These free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which can lead to various health problems, including heart disease and cancer. By consuming St. Lucie's cherry, you can help protect your body from these harmful effects.

In addition to its antioxidant content, St. Lucie's cherry is also a good source of vitamins and minerals. For example, it is high in Vitamin C, which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. It is also high in potassium, which is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and blood pressure. These nutrients make St. Lucie's cherry a great food for those looking to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

St. Lucie's cherry is also an attractive fruit, with a bright red color and a glossy texture. Its sweet and juicy flavor makes it a popular choice for snacking, and it can also be used in various culinary applications. For example, it can be used to make pies, tarts, and jams, or added to salads and smoothies.

St. Lucie's cherry is a delightful fruit that is perfect for all occasions. Whether you are looking to improve your health, add a burst of flavor to your meals, or simply enjoy a sweet and juicy snack, St. Lucie's cherry is the perfect choice.

In addition to its delicious flavor and numerous health benefits, St. Lucie's cherry is also a hardy plant that is easy to grow. It is a deciduous tree that grows well in a variety of soils and can tolerate both hot and cold temperatures. The tree produces clusters of small, white flowers in the spring, which are followed by the cherries in the summer.

When growing St. Lucie's cherry, it is important to provide the tree with adequate sunlight and water. It is also important to prune the tree regularly to encourage healthy growth and prevent disease.

St. Lucie's cherry is a popular fruit for both commercial and home growers. Its sweet and juicy flavor makes it a favorite for eating fresh, and its versatility makes it a popular choice for cooking and baking. In addition, the fruit is highly perishable and does not have a long shelf life, so it is often processed into jams, jellies, and other preserves.

In addition to its use as a food, St. Lucie's cherry is also valued for its ornamental qualities. Its bright red fruit and delicate white flowers make it a popular choice for landscaping and gardening. It is a great choice for small gardens and can be used as a specimen plant or as part of a mixed border.

St. Lucie's cherry is a versatile and delicious fruit that is easy to grow and offers numerous health benefits. Whether you are looking to add a new fruit to your diet, improve your health, or add a touch of beauty to your garden, St. Lucie's cherry is a great choice.

Another aspect of St. Lucie's cherry that makes it a valuable fruit is its cultural and historical significance. The cherry is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, and has been cultivated for thousands of years for its sweet and juicy fruit. Throughout history, cherries have been enjoyed by people from all walks of life, from royalty to the common people.

In many cultures, cherries have symbolic meaning and are associated with love, happiness, and good luck. For example, in ancient Greece, cherries were believed to bring good luck to newlyweds, and in Japan, cherries are a symbol of renewal and are associated with the arrival of spring.

In addition to its cultural significance, St. Lucie's cherry is also an important part of the local economy in many regions. The fruit is grown commercially in several countries, including Italy, Spain, and France, and provides income for farmers and the local community. In some regions, cherry festivals are held to celebrate the fruit and the local culture. These festivals often include food and drink made with cherries, live music, and other festivities, and provide an opportunity for people to come together and enjoy the fruit of the harvest.

Aside from its culinary and cultural value, St. Lucie's cherry also has ecological significance. The tree provides food and shelter for wildlife, including birds and insects, and is an important part of the ecosystem. By planting St. Lucie's cherry, you can help support local wildlife and contribute to the health of the ecosystem.

In conclusion, St. Lucie's cherry is a valuable fruit that offers numerous benefits, both for individuals and for society as a whole. Its delicious flavor, health benefits, cultural significance, and ecological value make it a valuable addition to any diet, garden, or community. Whether you are a gardener, a foodie, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty and richness of nature, St. Lucie's cherry is a fruit that you won't want to miss.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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