Sour cherry, tart cherry, wild cherry (Eng), guindo (Spa), guinder (Cat), gingondoa (Baq), guindeiro (Glg), ginjeira (Por).
“These tender-hearted gentry should consider that it's not merely a squire, but a governor they are asking to whip himself; just as if it was: 'drink with cherries'”.
‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’, Miguel de Cervantes
This is a small tree that can be up to 8 m tall, very similar in appearance to the cherry tree (Prunus avium L.), with which it is often confused. The leaves are deciduous, simple, alternate (this character is best observed in the middle of the branches, because at the ends they are very close together), and serrated. They are 3-9 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, and finish in a point. They have a 1-3 cm long stalk that often lacks glands. The white flowers develop in very showy clusters. The fruits are sour cherries. This species can be differentiated from the wild cherry by its smaller form and leaves, which have a shiny upper side and a stalk that often lacks glands.
The sour cherry is a cultivated species that often becomes established in the wild. It lives at altitudes of between 800 and 1800 m.
This plant is native to southwestern Asia and is widely cultivated as a fruit tree, although it has had no trouble becoming established in the wild in diverse parts of the northwest and west of the Iberian Peninsula: Galicia, northern Portugal, Los Arribes del Duero and the western part of the Sistema Central range (Sierra de Gata, Peña de Francia, Sierra de Béjar and Gredos), as well as the north of the Palencia province.