The Bird Cherry forms a tree from ten to thirty
feet in height, with elliptic-shaped leaves, which
have their edges doubly cut into fine teeth.
The flowers are not clustered in umbels, as in
the Gean and the Wild Cherry, but in a loose raceme
springing from lateral spurs of new growth. The
flowers are erect when they open, and the stigmas
mature before the anthers, so that cross-fertilization
is favoured in this species. After fertilization
the flower droops, to be out of the way of the
bees in their visits to the unfertilised blossoms.
The petals in this species look as if their edges
had been gnawed.
The fruits are small, black, and very bitter to
the taste, with a wrinkled stone.
This is a northern species, coming no further
south than Leicestershire and South Wales.
The Gean, the Wild Cherry and the Bird Cherry
all flower in late April or early May.
Cherry wood is strong, fine-grained, and of a
red colour. It is easily worked, and susceptible
of a high polish.