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Edible Edible Spring Spring Summer Summer

There are a few different Cherry species growing in the UK, Prunus avium is what people usually refer to when talking about the Wild Cherry. All cherries are edible although some can be very sharp and sour. The seeds or pips of the cherry are poisonous and should not be consumed. It is best to remove the pips before cooking cherries for any recipe.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Cherry
Scientific Name Prunus Family
Season Start May
Season End Jun
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


An elongated oval shape with serrated edges and a point at the end.


Usually five white or pink petals with long stamen sticking out and just one style. The flowers can be semi double to double with many more petals.


Usually shiny, red, round, berries hanging from the tree although yellow and black varieties can be found.


Brown to grey with green from algae and lichen with some shiny areas and what look like horizontal scars or cuts that are called lenticels.


Woodland, hedgerows, gardens, graveyards, parks and often used as a pavement ornamental.

Possible Confusion

Possibly the cherry plum but these are generally bigger and it wouldn’t be dangerous to confuse the two.


Sweet and lovely when ripe but some can be quite sharp and are better used in recipes involving honey or sugar.




You need to get to your cherries before the birds as they can strip a tree in no time.

Other Facts

Cherry trees are often used as a pavement tree in cities, in South London some streets have nothing else but nobody seems to pick the fruit, there are tons of cherries at the right time of year.


12 comments for Cherry

  1. Judy says:

    The tree we have has a yellow berry with a very little Stem almost attached to the branch. The leaves look the same and they turn to a blush color. I would like to know if they are still editable? As I have a lot and would like to give them away to friends knowing they are safe. Also, make some juice from them.
    I hope to back from you soon as they are ripe and I’ve picked the first tree.

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      If it is a cherry it is edible although some stay quite sharp and need a little sweetening. The pips on some cherries contain higher quantities of cyanide than others but as we don’t use the pips for anything other than growing cherry trees this should not prove a problem.

  2. Alvin Walter says:

    If I accidentally ate a cherry pip, would it have any effect on my stomach or me and any other way that I could notice?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      A whole cherry pip would pass straight through you but even if you cracked it open before swallowing, one pip will do no noticeable harm.

  3. Prince says:

    Iam from India I have to ask that are the pink flowered cherries edible or not the leaves are a bit different and the stem is shiny and leaves are also shiny green if u want I can send u some pics of that tree so that u can be sure is it edible or not .

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      I can only speak with confidence about the UK but here, all cherries are edible.

  4. Fran Butler says:

    I’ve found beautifull beach coloured leaved trees with big deep red cherry fruits that are not sweet but seem edible are they safe to eat ?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Without photos I can’t give a positive ID but if they look like cherries and the bark has horizontal striations, they probably are cherries. Some are sweeter than others but none are poisonous, only the stones contains toxins.

  5. Shilpa says:

    There are 2 big trees of fruits in my garden which looks almost like cherries but not sure about it, can you please confirm whether they are edible

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      We would need to see photos to be certain but if it looks like a cherry, it probably is. All cherries in the UK are edible.

  6. Nikolai says:

    Hi, I’m aware the bark of wild cherry has medicinal properties and is safe to consume in the right amount. I was wondering if this extends to other varieties of cherry bark too, or if its exclusive to the wild cherry. If there are varieties of cherry bark that are harmful, please let me know and thank you in advance!

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      The only info I can find is that the bark of wild black cherry is poisonous and contains hydrocyanic acid. If it tastes like bitter almonds, it contains the acid. Other cherry species are likely to contain the same or similar compounds.

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