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Uses

Toxic parts

The seed and leaves contain hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is readily detected by its bitter taste. Usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm, any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten[1][2]. 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[3][4][5][6]. The fruit usually has a bitter taste and is used mainly for making jam and preserves[7][8]. The fruit is about the size of a pea and contains one large seed[9].

Flowers - chewed[10][8]. Young leaves - cooked[10]. Used as a boiled vegetable in Korea[8]. Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity.

A tea is made from the bark[8].

Flowers

Fruit

Leaves

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[11].

A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[11].

Wood - hard, heavy, durable, easy to work, polishes well. It is much valued by cabinet makers[7][6][12].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The bark is mildly anodyne, diuretic, febrifuge and sedative[13][5]. An infusion is used in the treatment of colds, feverish conditions etc[13]. The bark is harvested when the tree is in flower and can be dried for later use[13]. 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[14].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

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[9]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[9]. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate[15]. 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. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood, October/November in a frame. Suckers removed in late winter.

Layering in spring.

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



Cultivation

Succeeds in any soil, preferring a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil[7][9]. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[16]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[7][9]. Very hardy but it does not like exposure to strong winds[17].

A very hardy tree[16][7], tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c[18]. A very ornamental species[16], there are some named varieties[19]. The sub-species P. padus borealis is found in Scandinavia and the mountains of C. Europe. It is a shrub growing only to about 3 metres high[18]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[14]. Trees usually produce lots of suckers and will soon regenerate by this method if the main trunk is cut down[17]. This tree is a host for cereal virus vector[20]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[9]. Trees only cast a light shade and do not themselves thrive in heavy shade[17].

The fruits are relished by birds and the flowers and leaves attract many insects.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Prunus padus. 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 padus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Prunus padus
Genus
Prunus
Family
Rosaceae
Imported References
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
    Ecosystems
    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.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    15 x 8 meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    2. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    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. ? 4.04.1 Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (1974-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.7 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.69.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.3 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.2 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    15. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Beckett. G. and K. Planting Native Trees and Shrubs. Jarrold (1979-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30258-2 (1989-00-00)
    19. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    20. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
    21. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17

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