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Prunus cerasifera

Cherry Plum, Myrobalan
Rosaceae
Edible fruit, Trees

PRUNUS

Discussed here are ornamental members of the genus Prunus. Fruit trees belonging to this genus—collectively known as stone fruits—are described under their common names. See Almond; Apricot; Cherry; Peach and Nectarine; Plum (includes Prune); and Plum Hybrids.

Ornamental species and forms can be divided into two categories: evergreen and deciduous. Evergreen types are used chiefly as hedges, screens, shade trees, and street trees. Deciduous flowering trees and shrubs, closely related to the fruit trees mentioned above, are valued for their winter or spring floral display as well as for attractive shape and for foliage form, texture, and sometimes even fall color. Many of these deciduous kinds offer a bonus of edible fruit.

Prunus cerasifera

Native from central Asia to the Balkans. One parent of domestic plums, this is most often used as rootstock for various stone fruits. Dark green leaves cover this 25-ft. tree. Pure white flowers. Red, 1–1 1/4-in.-wide fruit is sweet, a bit bland, and has a large seed; some seedlings bear yellow fruit.

Though this plum produces fruit, it is most well known for its ornamental flowering varieties, which have red, white, or pinkish flowers, and green, purple, or red leaves. Because this tree self-sows freely, it is common in the wild, especially in the Pacific Northwest, California, and Utah. It has also naturalized from the Northeast through the Great Lakes region and north into Canada, and in the mountains of Georgia and Tennessee.

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