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Uses

Toxic parts

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked[1][2][3]. A sweetish flavour, the fruit can also be dried for later use[2]. It makes a rather astringent but tasty jelly[4].The fruit is a reasonable size, up to 18mm in diameter, and contains one large seed[5]. Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity.

Fruit

Material uses

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[6].

A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[6].

The plant can be used as a rootstock for plums[7]. It produces mostly dwarf trees that are poorly anchored[2]. Prone to severe suckering[2]. Compatible with most prunes, it is incompatible with damsons and Victoria plums[2]. Resistant to 'Crown Gall'[2]. Trees on this rootstock are productive and very cold hardy[2]. Cuttings are often easy to root but seedlings vary widely[2].

Unknown part

Dye

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, 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[8].
There are no medicinal uses listed for Prunus besseyi.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Rootstock

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - requires 2 - 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[5]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[5]. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate[9]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame[10][5]. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame[5]. Division of suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Layering in spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Prunus besseyi. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, doing well on limestone[10][5]. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[11]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[10][5]. Established plants are drought resistant[7].

A very hardy plant, probably tolerating temperatures down to about -50°c when it is fully dormant[7]. It is cultivated for its edible fruit in warmer climes than Britain[10], there are some named varieties[2]. It flowers very well in this country but does not usually produce much fruit[10]. Another report says that it sometimes fruits abundantly in Britain. The cultivar 'Black Beauty' crops well and has small black sweet fruits[5]. 'Hansens' has large fruits with a good flavour[5]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[8]. Plants are inclined to sucker and can produce dense thickets[7].

Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[5].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Prunus besseyi. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Prunus besseyi.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Prunus besseyi
Genus
Prunus
Family
Rosaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
3
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
?
Mature Size
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type











References

  1. ? 1.01.1 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
  2. ? 2.002.012.022.032.042.052.062.072.082.092.10 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
  5. ? 5.005.015.025.035.045.055.065.075.085.095.105.11 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.2 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.4 Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. ()
  8. ? 8.08.18.2 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  9. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.5 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  11. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  12. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)


Facts about "Prunus besseyi"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyRosaceae +
Belongs to genusPrunus +
Functions asRootstock +
Has binomial namePrunus besseyi +
Has common nameWestern Sand Cherry +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partFruit + and Seed +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceDrought +
Has fertility typeInsects +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has hardiness zone3 +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useDye +
Has mature height1.2 +
Has search nameprunus besseyi + and western sand cherry +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy namePrunus besseyi +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Prunus besseyi +, Prunus besseyi + and Prunus besseyi +