Prunus emarginata is an middle to upper elevation shrub. Compared to other Prunus species, the leaves are quite narrow. The species name would seem to imply that the leaves are emarginate (notched), however only some of the leaves display this notching.
Welsh et al. 1993, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: bitter cherry Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree Wetland Status: FACU General: Small to large, bushy shrubs with smooth, reddish bark, 4 m tall or more. Leaves: Alternate, oval to obovate, 1.5-5 cm long, the blades with toothed margins and rounded or slightly acuminate tips, smooth and dark green above, lighter and sparsely pubescent beneath, (elliptic with acute tips in var. crenulata), teeth of the leaves noticeably gland-tipped, and short petioled. Flowers: Rounded corymbs of white flowers emerging from fascicles at scarred nodes along the branches and branch tips, 3-10 flowered, hypanthium campanulate, glabrous, sepals less than 2 mm long, 5 white petals 5-7 mm long, obovate with many exserted stamens, style also exserted. Fruits: Fruit a glabrous, fleshy drupe with a single, bony seed, when ripe, fruits are a bright, eye-catching red, 6-8 mm. Ecology: Found in pine forests and wooded areas from 5,000-9,000 ft (1524-2743 m); flowers April-June. Distribution: Ranges north from Arizona and California, throughout the intermountain west to Canada and Idaho. Notes: The glabrous, fleshy drupe and gland-tipped teeth of the leaves are the key indicators for this species. See the general description for variety information. Ethnobotany: Infusion of bark used for heart trouble, tuberculosis, blood remedy, eczema, blood discharge, laxative, tonic, eye medicine, and colds. Infusion of rotten wood taken as a contraceptive. Bark used as a plaster for bleeding wounds. Etymology: Prunus is an ancient Latin name for the plum, while emarginata means with a shallow notch at the end. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher and SBuckley 2011