Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium 'Rainier') in the Sweet Cherries Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Sweet Cherry
Give a thumbs up Cherry

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Plant Height: 50-100 feet
Plant Spread: 16 to 18 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late spring or early summer
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Spring
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Flowering Tree
Medicinal Herb
Useful for timber production
Edible Parts: Fruit
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Other: seeds
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Will not come true from seed
Propagation: Other methods: Other: Must be grafted onto suitable rootstock
Pollinators: Bees

My favorite cherry for just plain eating

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Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Jul 19, 2014 12:19 PM

This is my all time favorite cherry for just plain eating. If you've never tried a Rainier cherry before, you owe it to yourself to try them. It is my personal opinion they are perfect in every way: texture, flavor, they have it all.

The Rainier cherry was developed by Harold Fogle at Washington State University in 1952 and is named after Mt. Rainier. They are a cross between the Van & the Bing cultivars. It was a big surprise that they turned out with the light yellow to medium orange-yellow skin they sport. When ripe, they develop a red blush. They have a thin skin & the flesh is creamy yellow. They are so sweet! You will see them with little brown spots on them, but this is not rot; it is in actuality an extra sweet sugar spot. Their flesh does not tend to crack unless they get abnormal rainfall or watering during the ripening of the fruit. 1/3 of the Rainier cherry crop is eaten by birds.

Rainier cherries are most often grafted onto the Mazzard cherry which is a wild, sweet cherry. They will produce fruit in 3 to 5 years. They are a low-chill cherry, requiring 1000 to 1500 annual chilling hours for good bloom & fruit production. They require a pollinator. Sam Sweet blooms at the same time & makes a good pollinator. Also used as pollinators are Lapins, Bing, Van, and Lambert. Conversely, the Rainier is used as a pollinator for the dark, sweet varieties.

They grow best in loamy sand and require good drainage.

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