Cherry fruitThe Cherry-trees belong to the Rose family and are thus botanically related to the apple, rose, pear, and strawberry.
Cherry trees are cultivated throughout all civilized countries. As with most other long-cultivated fruits, the various varieties are the product of crossing (cross-pollination), artificial selection, and cultivation, and desirable plants are perpetuated by grafting. There are various wild-growing species of cherry, which must not be confused with the cultivated varieties. The wild black cherry is very common in our woods.
The fruit of the cultivated domestic cherry is the most desirable and is usually had in mind when cherries are mentioned.
Cherry wine is made from the fleshy pulp, which has an excellent quality and flavor. Cherry syrup is the product of fermentation and filtration, with the addition of sugar, and is used as a flavor for cold drinks and added to medicines to improve their efficiency and disguise taste.
By crushing and distilling the seeds cherry water is obtained. The flowers and fruit stems are employed in kidney and catarrhal troubles. Cherries may be preserved by drying or pickling. The fruits are also macerated in whisky and brandy, adding to these drinks an agreeable flavor and acidity.
For this purpose the fruit of the wild black cherry is very extensively used. The bark, particularly of the wild black cherry, is extensively employed in medicine. It is a very popular household remedy for the treatment of coughs and colds in children. The gum which exudes from the incised or otherwise injured bark is also used medicinally.
Cherry wood is hard and takes a good polish. It is used in cabinet making, interior finish, and for inlaid work.
Cherries are also employed by the confectioner and by the baker in making pies. The seeds (kernels, pits) are first removed. The habit of swallowing the pits is a dangerous one, as serious and even fatal troubles are caused by them.