Description: A tall tree with smooth, shiny and red–brown bark, peeling horizontally; bears soft white flowers in spring; small red or yellow cherries follow in the autumn.
Habitat: Woodlands and hedgerows.
Distribution: Wild cherries are widespread throughout the British Isles.
Wild sweet cherries, also known as gaskins, geans, mazzards and merrys, are not only delicious to eat but also good for your gout or arthritis. The fruit stalks and inner bark have medicinal virtues too, for treating dry coughs, sore throats and bronchitis. It is a bonus that children seem to love the tea or syrup, leaving their parents to drink up the cherry brandy.
For more information on how to use wild cherry, please see the book Hedgerow Medicine, pages 24-25