High Desert Plant Finder & Guide
Meteor Cherry fruit
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 10 feet
Spread: 8 feet
Hardiness Zone: 4
Other Names: Sour Cherry
A compact fruit tree, the ideal size for backyard orchards; showy white flowers in spring followed by loads of bright red sour cherries in mid summer, excellent for pies and jam; needs full sun and well-drained soil, self-pollinating and hardy
Meteor Cherry is a large shrub that is commonly grown for its edible qualities. It produces cherry red round fruit (technically 'drupes') with yellow flesh which are usually ready for picking in late summer. Note that the fruits have hard inedible pits inside which must be removed before eating or processing. The fruits have a sour taste and a fleshy texture.
The fruit are most often used in the following ways:
Features & Attributes
Meteor Cherry is covered in stunning clusters of fragrant white flowers along the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall. The fruits are showy cherry red drupes carried in abundance from mid to late summer. The fruit can be messy if allowed to drop on the lawn or walkways, and may require occasional clean-up. The smooth dark red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.
This is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Aside from its primary use as an edible, Meteor Cherry is sutiable for the following landscape applications;
- Orchard/Edible Landscaping
Planting & Growing
Meteor Cherry will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years. This is a self-pollinating variety, so it doesn't require a second plant nearby to set fruit.
This shrub is typically grown in a designated area of the yard because of its mature size and spread. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.
Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.