A weak decoction of the bark has been used in the treatment of rheumatism. A hot infusion of the branches or the leaves has been used in the treatment of colds. A decoction of the dried bark strips has been used as a winter tonic to ward off influenza.All members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
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Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged.Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
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