Phenolic composition of leaf and flower extracts of black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.)

Key message

The best yields in the extraction of hydroxycinnamic acids, flavanols and total phenolics from black cherry flowers were obtained with 40% ethanol and the poorest with water. A 30% higher content of total phenolics was obtained from leaves by using methanol rather than water.


Context Black cherry (Prunus serotina Erhr.) is widespread in Europe. Because it is an invasive species, most research has been aimed at trying to find a method to remove this shrub from forests. The incentive for the development of the research was that we were trying to find a possible folk use of black cherry leaves and flowers.
Aims The aim of this work was to study the detailed phenolic profile of extracts of P. serotina leaves and flowers.
Methods Three types of extracts of P. serotina were made. The extracts were analysed for differences in phenolics content based on different extraction methods. HPLC-MSn was used to identify the phenolic compounds, and HPLC–DAD was used for their quantification.
Results The results show that different extraction methods result in differences in the amount of extractables. Flavanols are the main group of identified compounds in both leaves and flowers. A larger extraction efficiency leads to a higher amount of phenolics in the flowers compared to leaves (49.8 vs. 36.5 g/kg dry weight). No difference was detected in the amount of phenolics between water extracts of leaves and flowers. Each extract can be considered rich in phenolics.
Conclusion This work shows that leaves and flowers of P. serotina are a rich source of phenolic compounds. We provide interesting results that might be of interest in the industrial valuation of several compounds.

Prunus serotina; HPLC–DAD-MS; Phenolics; Black cherry

Brozdowski, J., Waliszewska, B., Gacnik, S. et al. Phenolic composition of leaf and flower extracts of black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.). Annals of Forest Science 78, 66 (2021).

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Data availability
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Handling Editor
Jean-Michel Leban

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