What Is A Stella Sweet Cherry?
A sweet cherry is a fruit with white flesh and red seeds. They are most commonly known as “stellas” or “cherries”. Stellas are not native to the United States, but they have been cultivated here since ancient times. There are several varieties of stella cherries, including those from California (the original variety), Hawaii, Mexico and New Zealand.
The term “sweet” refers to their high sugar content. Most stellas contain between 60% and 70% sugar. Some varieties have less than 50%. Their taste varies greatly, depending upon the variety and growing conditions.
Stella Cherry Flavor
Stella cherry trees produce a large number of blossoms each year, which bloom in clusters called “flowers.” Each flower contains up to 40 seeds. These seeds germinate within 24 hours after being released into the air. Within a few days, these seedlings will begin growing and producing new flowers.
These flowering plants are referred to as “pollinators.” They attract other pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to their flowers. It takes as many as 300 stellas to produce a single cherry.
Stella Cherry Tree Size
Stella cherries are cold-hardy plants that can grow in most areas of the United States. If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 or warmer, you can grow these trees outdoors. USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9 can grow them as houseplants. There are two basic types of stellas: Dessert and Ornamental.
Dessert stellas have a sweet, fleshy taste and a very soft skin. These are the most popular stellas for eating. Ornamental stellas have a bitter skin that is covered with a fine, hair-like texture called “bloom.” Their flesh is also slightly bitter.
Although not as sweet as dessert stellas, they are still eaten fresh or used to make preserves and fruit cakes.
Stella Cherry Pollination
Most stellas are self-fruitful, which means they can produce a crop without another plant. If you plant more than one variety of stella, it is best to have a few extra varieties nearby (within 1/4 mile) to prevent the risk of poor pollination. These plants do not need to be pollinated by another species.
Stella cherry trees are susceptible to several diseases and pests, including powdery mildew, crown gall, black knot, aphids and corn earworm. These problems can be prevented or reduced with proper yearly maintenance.
Stella Sweet Cherries can also be grown in large containers or barrels if you want to grow a tree indoors or in a small yard. They can grow in most climates and USDA Hardiness Zones.
So remember, the next time you want to try a new fruit or are in search of a delicious new recipe, consider stella cherries. They can be used in a wide variety of dishes and have been enjoyed by people for centuries. They are easy to find in most grocery stores and can also be purchased from online grower sites.
Stella Sweet Cherries are a truly decadent treat that you don’t want to miss out on. Add them to your grocery list today!
Sources & references used in this article:
Pollination of self-fertile sweet cherry by WD Lane – Journal of horticultural science, 1979 – Taylor & Francis
Variable fruit set in self-fertile sweet cherry by CCRL Andersen – Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 2001 – NRC Research Press
Effect of rootstock on fruit characteristics of’Stella’sweet cherry by S Vestrheim – II International Cherry Symposium 410, 1993 – actahort.org
Molecular typing of S-alleles through identification, characterization and cDNA cloning for S-RNases in sweet cherry by R Tao, H Yamane, A Sugiura… – Journal of the …, 1999 – journals.ashs.org
Chill unit models for the sweet cherry cvs Stella, Sunburst and Summit by K Mahmood, JG Carew, P Hadley… – The Journal of …, 2000 – Taylor & Francis
Genetic diversity and relatedness of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) cultivars based on single nucleotide polymorphic markers by A Fernandez i Marti, B Athanson, T Koepke… – Frontiers in Plant …, 2012 – frontiersin.org
Results from the 11-year evaluation of 10 rootstocks of the sweet cherry cultivar’Stella’ by V Lichev, A Papachatzis – I Balkan Symposium on Fruit Growing 825, 2007 – actahort.org
Effect of pulsed electric fields on the flavour profile of red-fleshed sweet cherries (Prunus avium var. Stella) by KAG Sotelo, N Hamid, I Oey, N Gutierrez-Maddox… – Molecules, 2015 – mdpi.com
Self-fertility studies of some sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) cultivars and selections by Z Békefi – International Journal of Horticultural Science, 2004 – researchgate.net