County flower Birdcherry


A postcard.

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The Bird cherry,  European Bird cherry, Hackberry or Hagberry (Prunus padus), is a shrub or multi-stemmed tree ranging from 3 to 12 meters (10-40 ft.) in height, characterized by its drooping branches. Bird cherry is the county tree for Pirkanmaa region and can be found throughout Finland, growing along shores, riverbanks, groves, and field edges. The Purple Leaf Bird Cherry has been cultivated as a garden tree, and in the northernmost Lapland, there is a shrubby subspecies Prunus padus ssp. borealis known as “The Northern Bird cherry”.

Bird cherry blooms in late May to early June after the leaves have sprouted, when the beautifully white blossoms of the bird cherry stand out easily against the forest edge. The racemes of Bird cherry are full of small flowers  and those heavy-scent attracts insects, especially flies and bees. As the name says the small, blue-black, bitter-tasting berries of the Bird cherry  are eaten by birds. Berries with a large seed are also used in small quantities for making liqueurs and juices. The wood of the Bird cherry is used to some extent in the furniture industry, and it is crafted into jewelry, decorative and art objects.

The strong-smelling bark, wood, and seeds of the Bird cherry contain toxic substances that protect it from animals quite effectively. The most visible pest of the Bird cherry is the bird cherry ermine moth, whose caterpillars may cover the tree entirely in white silky web during some summers. The caterpillars also consume all the leaves, which the plant then regrows. The cause of aphid (greenfly) problems afflicting backyard flowers may be found in nearby Bird cherries favored by aphids.

Additional information

Weight 0.0045 kg