Prunus virginiana L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Prunus virginiana' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/prunus/prunus-virginiana/). Accessed 2019-12-08.

Genus

Common Names

  • Virginian Bird Cherry

Synonyms

  • Padus rubra Mill.
  • Prunus nana Du Roi

Infraspecifics

Other species in genus

Glossary

appressed
Lying flat against an object.
calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.

References

There are currently no active references in this article.

Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Prunus virginiana' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/prunus/prunus-virginiana/). Accessed 2019-12-08.

Usually a shrub in the wild state, 2 to 15 ft high, occasionally a tree, deciduous, with grey, glabrous branchlets. Leaves varying from broadly oval to broadly obovate, with a short abrupt point, finely toothed, 112 to 5 in. long, two-thirds as wide, glabrous, shining, and dark green above, paler beneath, with tufts of down in the vein-axils beneath; stalk 12 to 34 in. long, with two or more glands. Flowers white, 13 in. or rather more across, produced in racemes 3 to 6 in. long, 1 in. wide, terminating short leafy shoots. Fruits dark red, round, 13 in. across, very harsh to the taste.

Native of the eastern and central United States and Canada; introduced to England in 1724, but not often seen now. It is much rarer in gardens than its near ally, P. serotina, which has a black rather than a red fruit and proportionately narrower leaves. Also, in P. serotina the leaves have blunt, appressed teeth and the calyx is persistent in fruit; in the present species the teeth are spreading and pointed, and the calyx deciduous. P. virginiana flowers well during May in England, and is pretty then, but does not bear fruit so freely as our native bird cherry.


f. leucocarpa (S. Wats.) Haynie

Fruits white.

'Nana'

Of dwarf habit.

'Shubert'

Leaves at first green, but becoming purple by June. An American variety of recent introduction to Britain.

var. demissa (Torr. & Gr.) Torr.

Synonyms
Cerasus demissa Nutt. ex Torr. & Gr.
P. demissa Nutt. ex Dietr

An erect shrub or small tree. Leaves usually slightly cordate at the base and downy beneath. Fruits dark red. Native of western N. America.

var. melanocarpa (A. Nels.) Sarg.

Synonyms
Cerasus demissa var. melanocarpa A. Nels

Leaves glabrous beneath, rather thick. Fruits black. Native mainly of the Rocky Mountains.

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