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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


Fruit - raw or cooked. A yellow plum about 3cm in diameter with a single large seed[K]. Scarcely edible according to one report[1], but we found it to have a pleasant mealy texture and a sweet flavour[K]. We have found it bearing quite freely, even on young trees no more than 6 years old[K].

An edible oil called 'huille des marmottes' is obtained from the seed[2][3][4][5]. It is used as an olive oil substitute in France[6][7].

Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity.


Unknown part


Material uses

The oil obtained from the seed is also used for lighting[4]. It is aromatic[8].

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[9].

A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[9].

Unknown part


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[10].
There are no medicinal uses listed for Prunus brigantina.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Secondary canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - requires 2 - 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[11]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[11]. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate[12]. 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[4][11]. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame[11].

Layering in spring.

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


Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, growing well on limestone[4][11]. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[2]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[4][11].

Three shrubs at Kew in September 1993 were about 1.5 metres tall and still had a few fruits on them, though there was evidence that they had carried a large crop[K]. They fruited well again in 1994[K]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[10].

Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[11].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Prunus brigantina. 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 brigantina.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Prunus brigantina
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    6 x meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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    "Brian?on Apricot" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    1. ? 1.01.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    4. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    9. ? Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    10. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    11. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    12. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    13. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)

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