Bird Cherry ((BETTER))
Bird cherry likes damp soil. In limestone areas, which it prefers, it needs to grow by a stream to ensure it gets enough moisture. Where the soil is damp enough, it will grow in thickets and woodlands.
Prunus padus, known as bird cherry, hackberry, hagberry, or Mayday tree, is a flowering plant in the rose family. It is a species of cherry, a deciduous small tree or large shrub up to 16 metres (52 ft) tall. It is the type species of the subgenus Padus, which have flowers in racemes. It is native to northern Europe and northern and northeast Asia, and is grown as an ornamental in North America.
The fruit of this tree is seldom used in western Europe, but, long ago, may possibly have been used as a staple food far to the east. According to Herodotus (writing some 2500 years ago) a strange race called the Argippaeans, all bald from birth, who lived in an area identifiable possibly as the foothills of the Urals, would pick the bean-sized fruits of a tree called "pontic" and squeeze from them a drinkable black juice, making afterwards, from the residue of the pressing, a type of cake. This juice and the "cakes" produced in its manufacture were, according to Herodotus (who derived his account from the reports of Scythian traders), the main sustenance of the "bald people". Furthermore, according to A. D. Godley (translator of an edition of the works of Herodotus published in the early 1920s) it was said that the Cossacks not only made a similar juice from Prunus padus, but also called it by a name similar to the one (aschu) by which the bald Argippeans called theirs. As might well be expected of so cherry-loving a race, the Argippeans - a just and kindly people - took good care of their trees, protecting them from the harsh winters of their homeland - seemingly by incorporating them (as a central pole symbolising the axis mundi) into the yurt-like felt tents in which they lived:
In Russia the fruit of the tree is still used for culinary purposes. The dried berries are milled into a flour of variable fineness that forms the principal ingredient of bird-cherry cake. The flour is brown, and so is the cake, even though there is no chocolate in it. Both flour and cake are sold in local stores and bakeries. In a more conventional method of preparation, fresh bird cherries may also be minced and cooked to make jam.
In Finland and Sweden, the blooming of bird cherry (Finnish tuomi, Swedish hägg) signifies the start of the summer for many people. In southern Finland, this normally takes place during the two last weeks of May or very early June.
Bird cherry, also called sweet cherry and mazzard cherry, is a deciduous tree with smooth, peeling gray-brown or red-brown bark with prominent horizontal lenticels (stripes around the tree trunk). Generally grows to about 50 feet tall with a broadly rounded crown. The leaves are alternate, 2-5 inches long, oval and pointed at the tip, finely serrate (toothed on leaf edges), dull green above and somewhat downy beneath, with 2 conspicuous red glands at the top of the petiole (leaf stalk). Flowers are white, fragrant, 1 inch across, in a loose cluster of 3-5 flowers, each with 5 petals, numerous stamens and 1 pistil (like other wild cherry flowers). Flowers appear slightly before leaves emerge. The fruit is a small sweet cherry (0.5 to 1 inch across), starting yellow then turning red to almost black when ripe in early summer.
It is widely grown as an ornamental cherry tree and is a parent of many of the sweet cherry cultivars sold for fruit production. It has spread widely throughout Washington and much of North America, most often found in forest edges, urban woodlands, fields and vacant lands. It has the potential to crowd out native shrubs and small trees.
Bird cherry-oat aphid is the most common aphid found on cereals. Its color ranges from orange green to olive green to dark olive green, and sometimes greenish black. It has long antennae and long tube-shaped cornicles arising from the side of the abdomen near the rear end. Wingless forms frequently have a reddish orange patch around the base of the cornicles. Bird cherry-oat aphid may be found any time after seedling emergence but is most common in February and March. The bird cherry-oat aphid is most easily confused with the corn leaf aphid but the former has a rounded, bulblike body shape while the latter appears almost rectangular.
Bird cherry-oat aphid attacks all small grains including wheat, barley, oats, rye, and triticale. It may also be found on sorghum and corn. Heavy populations may cause a golden yellow streaking on the leaves; do not confuse this with the white streaks caused by Russian wheat aphid. Occasionally heavy populations cause the flag to curl up in a tight corkscrew fashion that may trap the awns, resulting in a fish-hook appearance to the head. Leaf curl caused by the bird cherry-oat aphid resembles a corkscrew, while that by the Russian wheat aphid resembles an upright soda straw.
Economic thresholds for bird cherry-oat aphid are not well established. Do not consider treatment until the number of aphids exceeds 50-60 per tiller. Chemical controls should then be applied only if there is no evidence of natural enemy activity or if the plants are several weeks from flowering.
Bird Cherry, (Prunus padus) is a deciduous, native hedge plant, which is also commonly grown as a tree. Interestingly, 'padus' is actually Greek for 'wild cherry', however Wild Cherry (Prunus avium), is a separate species of native cherry altogether.
In late spring, Bird Cherry is awash with white, almond-scented flowers carried on short spikes (racemes). The sweet, nectar-rich flowers are very popular with bees who are drawn to them for an early supply of food and pollen. After flowering, bitter dark fruits develop which are loved by birds and small mammals but are not edible for humans. The foliage also provides food for a range of insects, particularly the caterpillars of many species of moth, but is considered toxic to livestock.
The astringent fruit is seldom eaten in western Europe, but the dried fruit is sometimes ground into a flour. Related to the chokecherry, its black fruit is very bitter, but can be used to make jams, jellies and liqueurs. It is also used to make dyes.
Besides Prunus padus, there's also a cherry native to the same region called Prunus avium, which literally translates to bird cherry. I think both cherries could potentially be used to make the cake, but P. avium is said to be more bitter and P. padus I see mentioned repeatedly online and in print (one book that mentions it specifically is Magnus Nilsons Faviken.)
The magic of the cake is that it's made not from wheat flour, but from roughly half wheat flour and half dehydrated, ground, sifted wild cherries. If you caught my discussion Cherry Pits: A Traditional Almond Seasoning, you'll know that cherry stones are often seen as toxic or hazardous as they contain Amygdalin-a potentially dangerous glycoside that your body converts into cyanide.
Drying and cooking denatures the amygdalin, making it safe to consume. My friend Linda Black Elk, a Native American ethnobotanist, also told me that she worked with a lab to determine exactly when the amygdalin starts to break down during the process of making chanpah (chokecherry patties).
Siberian bird cherry flour is simply dried, whole wild cherries that have been ground into a flour. It's known by Muscovites and expats, and, you can even buy it on Amazon, which should tell you something about it's popularity.
Each cherry will give a slightly different character to the finished cake. Chokecherries keep a tiny bit of their astringency, black cherries I find to be the most well-rounded, but there's many that can be used. So far I've used pin cherries, black and chokecherries, sand cherries, as well as an ornamental I don't know the name of.
After you're done sifting the cherry flour you'll have some bits of shells and pieces leftover. You can toss them, but there's a lot of flavor trapped in them so I like to keep my leftovers in a bag in the freezer.
The leftover shells and bits of cherry are wonderful infused in liquors and infusions, syrups, and places where you want the aroma but not the texture. Another important thing to know is that cherry flour loses it's aroma quickly, so I only grind what I need for a recipe.
Once the cake is made and cooled it's traditionally coated with a sour cream frosting. Heretical though it might be, I love cream cheese frosting and fruit, so I make a frosting tinted into pastel with my wild cherry gastrique or another fruit syrup.
Bird Cherries are a suitable tree for all but small gardens. A froth of fragrant white blossom loved by bees in late spring with black cherries adored by birds in summer. Dark green leaves turn a lovely yellow in autumn. A fairly shallow rooted tree, disliking deep cultivation around them. Avoid soils that are very dry or prone to waterlogging. Weed and mulch, preferably with organic matter.
Search this siteAphidinae : Aphidini : Rhopalosiphum padi Rhopalosiphum padiBird cherry - oat aphidOn this page: Identification & DistributionBiology & Ecology:Life cycleCompetition & coexistenceAnt & wasp attendanceNatural enemiesOther aphids on the same hostDamage & ControlChemical controlCultural controlIdentification & Distribution:On the primary host (bird cherry) feeding by the fundatrix of Rhopalosiphum padi & her offspring induces a rolled leaf gall (see first picture below). Apterae in the gall have a coating of mealy wax (see second picture below). Apterae on the secondary host (grasses) (see third picture below) are pale green to dark green, brown or nearly black, with a rust-red suffusion around the base of each siphunculus. The terminal process of the sixth antennal segment of the aptera is 3.1-5.2 times as long as the base of that segment. The apical ends of the siphunculi are slightly swollen and end with a strong flange preceded by a distinct constriction. The cauda is rather pale and shorter than the siphunculi. The body length of Rhopalosiphum padi apterae is 1.2-2.4 mm. 041b061a72