terça-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2014


Prunus avium, sweet cherry, also called wild cherry
The Cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy drupe (stone fruit). The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species such as cultivars of the sweet cherry, Prunus avium. The name 'cherry' also refers to the cherry tree, and is sometimes applied to almonds and visually similar flowering trees in the genus Prunus, as in "ornamental cherry", "cherry blossom", etc. Wild Cherry may refer to any of the cherry species growing outside of cultivation, although Prunus avium is often referred to specifically by the name "wild cherry" in the British Isles.


Prunus padus, bird cherry
Many cherries are members of the subgenus Cerasus, which is distinguished by having the flowers in small corymbs of several together (not singly, nor in racemes), and by having smooth fruit with only a weak groove or none along one side. The subgenus is native to the temperateregions of the Northern Hemisphere, with two species in America, three in Europe, and the remainder in Asia. Other cherry fruits are members of subgenus Padus. Cherry trees with low exposure to light tend to have a bigger leaf size so they can intercept all light possible. Cherry trees with high exposure to light tend to have thicker leaves to concentrate light and have a higher photosynthetic capacity.[1]
Most eating cherries are derived from either Prunus avium, the sweet cherry (also called the wild cherry), or from Prunus cerasus, the sour cherry.


Etymology and antiquity[edit]

The native range of the sweet cherry extends through most of Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa, and the fruit has been consumed throughout its range since prehistoric times. A cultivated cherry is recorded as having been brought to Rome by Lucius Licinius Lucullus from northeastern Anatolia, modern day Turkey, also known as the Pontus region, in 72 BC.[2]
A form of cherry was introduced into England at Teynham, near Sittingbourne in Kent by order of Henry VIII, who had tasted them in Flanders.[3][4][5]
The English word cherry, French cerise and Spanish cereza all come from the classical Greek (κέρασος) through the Latin cerasum, thus the ancient Roman place name Cerasus, today a city in northern Turkey Giresun from which the cherry was first exported to Europe.[6]

Wildlife value[edit]

Cherry trees also provide food for the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera.


The cultivated forms are of the species sweet cherry (P. avium) to which most cherry cultivars belong, and the sour cherry (P. cerasus), which is used mainly for cooking. Both species originate in Europe and western Asia; they do not cross-pollinate. Some other species, although having edible fruit, are not grown extensively for consumption, except in northern regions where the two main species will not grow. Irrigation, spraying, labor, and their propensity to damage from rain and hail make cherries relatively expensive. Nonetheless, demand is high for the fruit. In commercial production, cherries are harvested by using a mechanized 'shaker'.[7] Hand picking is also widely used to harvest the fruit to avoid damage to both fruit and trees.

Growing season[edit]

Cherries have a very short growing season and can grow in most temperate latitudes. The peak season for cherries is in the summer. In Australia and New Zealand they are usually at their peak in late December, in southern Europe in June, in North America in June, in south British Columbia (Canada) in July to mid-August and in the UK in mid-July. In many parts of North America, they are among the first tree fruits to ripen, while in Australia and New Zealand cherries are widely associated with Christmas.[8]
'Kordia' is an early variety which ripens during the beginning of December, 'Lapins peak' ripens near the end of December, and 'Sweethearts' finish slightly later in the Southern Hemisphere.
Like most temperate-latitude trees, cherry seeds require exposure to cold to germinate (a mechanism the tree evolved to prevent germination during the autumn, which would then result in the seedling being killed by winter temperatures). The pits are planted in the autumn (after first being chilled) and seedlings emerge in the spring. A cherry tree will take three to four years to produce its first crop of fruit, and seven years to attain full maturity. Because of the cold-weather requirement, none of the Prunus family can grow in tropical climates.


The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:
Autumnalis (P. × subhirtella)64m²[11]
Autumnalis Rosea (P. × subhirtella)32m²[12]
Avium Grandiflora see Plena
Colorata (P. padus)96m²[13]
Grandiflora see Plena
Morello (P. cerasus)16m²[17]
Okamé (P. × incam)96m²[18]
Pendula Rosea16m²[20]
Pendula Rubra16m²[21]
Pink Perfection64m²[22]
Plena (Grandiflora)100m²+[23]
Praecox (P. incisa)64m²[24]
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)120m²+[9]
Prunus × cistena2.5m²[25]
Prunus sargentii100m²+[26]
Prunus serrula (Tibetan cherry)100m²+[27]

Ornamental trees[edit]

See cherry blossom and Prunus.

Commercial production[edit]

Worldwide cherry yield
Annual world production (as of 2007) of cultivated cherry fruit is about two million tonnes. Around 40% of world production originates in Europe and around 13% in the United States.
Top Cherry Producing Nations - 2011
(in thousand metric tons)
1 Turkey438,550
2 United States303,376
3 Iran241,117
4 Italy112,775
5 Spain101,945
6 Austria92,520
7 Uzbekistan82,000
8 Romania81,842
9 Russia76,000
10 Ukraine72,800
11 Syria62,195
12 Chile61,088
13 France48,054
14 Greece44,200
15 Poland37,984
16 Germany37,035
17 China32,000
18 Bulgaria30,063
19 Serbia28,551
Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organization [33]


Major commercial cherry orchards in West Asia and Europe are in Turkey (mainly Anatolia), Lebanon (Bekaa Valley), Syria, Italy and Spain, and to a smaller extent in the Baltic States and southern Scandinavia.

North America[edit]

In the United States, most sweet cherries are grown in WashingtonCaliforniaOregonWisconsin, and Michigan.[34] Important sweet cherry cultivars include 'Bing', 'Brooks', 'Tulare', 'King', 'Sweetheart',[35] and 'Rainier'. In addition, the 'Lambert' variety is grown on the eastern side of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana.[36] Both Oregon and Michigan provide light-colored 'Royal Ann' ('Napoleon'; alternately 'Queen Anne') cherries for the maraschino cherry process. Most sour (also called tart) cherries are grown in Michigan, followed by UtahNew York, and Washington.[34] Additionally, native and non-native cherries grow well in Canada (Ontario and British Columbia). Sour cherries include 'Nanking' and 'Evans'Traverse City, Michigan claims to be the "Cherry Capital of the World", hosting a National Cherry Festival and making the world's largest cherry pie. The specific region of northern Michigan known for tart cherry production is referred to as the "Traverse Bay" region.


In Australia, cherries are grown in all the states except for the Northern Territory. The major producing regions are located in the temperate areas within New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Western Australia has limited production in the elevated parts in southwest of the state. Key production areas include YoungOrange and Bathurst in New South WalesWandin, the Goulburn and Murray valley areas in Victoria, theAdelaide Hills region in South Australia, and the Huon and Derwent Valleys in Tasmania.
Key commercial varieties in order of seasonality include 'Empress', 'Merchant', 'Supreme', 'Ron's seedling', 'Chelan', 'Ulster', 'Van', 'Bing', 'Stella', 'Nordwunder', 'Lapins', 'Simone', 'Regina', 'Kordia' and 'Sweetheart'. New varieties are being introduced, including the late season 'Staccato' and early season 'Sequoia'. The Australian Cherry Breeding program is developing a series of new varieties which are under testing evaluation.[37]
The New South Wales town of Young is called the "Cherry Capital of Australia" and hosts the National Cherry Festival.

Nutritional value[edit]

Cherries, sour, red, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy209 kJ (50 kcal)
Carbohydrates12.2 g
Sugars8.5 g
Dietary fiber1.6 g
Fat0.3 g
Protein1 g
Vitamin A equiv.64 μg (8%)
beta-carotene770 μg (7%)
lutein and zeaxanthin85 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1)0.03 mg (3%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)0.04 mg (3%)
Niacin (vit. B3)0.4 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)0.143 mg (3%)
Vitamin B60.044 mg (3%)
Folate (vit. B9)8 μg (2%)
Choline6.1 mg (1%)
Vitamin C10 mg (12%)
Vitamin K2.1 μg (2%)
Calcium16 mg (2%)
Iron0.32 mg (2%)
Magnesium9 mg (3%)
Manganese0.112 mg (5%)
Phosphorus15 mg (2%)
Potassium173 mg (4%)
Sodium3 mg (0%)
Zinc0.1 mg (1%)
Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Cherries, sweet, red, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy263 kJ (63 kcal)
Carbohydrates16 g
Sugars12.8 g
Dietary fiber2.1 g
Fat0.2 g
Protein1.1 g
Vitamin A equiv.3 μg (0%)
beta-carotene38 μg (0%)
lutein and zeaxanthin85 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1)0.027 mg (2%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)0.033 mg (3%)
Niacin (vit. B3)0.154 mg (1%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)0.199 mg (4%)
Vitamin B60.049 mg (4%)
Folate (vit. B9)4 μg (1%)
Choline6.1 mg (1%)
Vitamin C7 mg (8%)
Vitamin K2.1 μg (2%)
Calcium13 mg (1%)
Iron0.36 mg (3%)
Magnesium11 mg (3%)
Manganese0.07 mg (3%)
Phosphorus21 mg (3%)
Potassium222 mg (5%)
Sodium0 mg (0%)
Zinc0.07 mg (1%)
Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
As raw fruit, sweet cherries provide little nutrient content per 100 g serving (nutrient table). Dietary fiberand vitamin C are present in the most significant content while other vitamins and dietary minerals each supply less than 10% of the Daily Value (DV) per serving, respectively.[38]
Compared to sweet cherries, raw sour cherries contain higher content per 100 g of vitamin C (12% DV) and vitamin A (8% DV).[39]

Phytochemical research[edit]

Cherry anthocyanins, a class of phytochemical red pigments, were shown in preliminary research to possibly affect pain and inflammation mechanisms in rats.[40] Anthocyanins may have other effects which remain under basic research for their potential mechanisms. For example, according to one study, genetically obese rats given a diet of tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet did not gain weight or body fat like those on a similar diet without the powder, and their blood levels of inflammationindicators were lower.[41]

Other information[edit]

Dried cherry fruit infused with raspberry concentrate are sold commercially under the name razzcherries.
The wood of some cherry species is especially esteemed for the manufacture of fine furniture.[42]
Cherries are used as additions to commercial ice creams, such as Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, Haagen Dazs' Cherry Vanilla and Baskin-Robbin's Winter White Chocolate.


The list below contains many Prunus species that bear the common name cherry, but they are not necessarily members of the subgenus Cerasus, or bear edible fruit. For a complete list of species, seePrunus. Some common names listed here have historically been used for more than one species, e.g. "rock cherry" is used as an alternative common name for both P. prostrata and P. mahaleb and "wild cherry" is used for several species.

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