Bird cherry, hackberry (Eng), cerezo de racimo, cerezo-aliso (Spa), cirerer bord (Cat), otsagereziondoa (Baq), pao de San Guirgorio (Glg), azereiro-dos-danados (Por).
DID YOU KNOW...? The fruits of the bird cherry can be eaten, but should be consumed with caution as in excess they produce cramps and vomiting.
This plant is a thornless branching shrub that attains the size of a small tree of up to 8 m tall. Its twigs have a disagreeable scent when squeezed, reminiscent of bitter almonds. The leaves are deciduous, simple, alternate, and finely serrated. They are 5-10 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, oval or elliptical, and the stalk often has two reddish or blackish glands. The flowers are white and grow in very showy and aromatic hanging clusters. The fruits also grow in clusters, are globose, less than a centimetre in diameter and black when ripe.
This plant does not form forests, although it can grow in pure stands or mix within forests of other trees and shrubs. It can be found in gullies, hedgerows, fringes and clearings in humid deciduous forests, and on rocky mountain slopes. It prefers acidic soils and grows between altitudes of 600 m and 2200 m.
Flora iberica describes the subspecies padus in the Iberian Peninsula, which ranges throughout Europe, western Asia and northern Morocco. On the peninsula, it is most abundant in the mountainous areas in the north, centre and west.