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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 reasonable size, up to 10mm in diameter with one large seed[4], this is the largest of the N. American cherries[5]. A rich and pleasantly acid taste when fully ripe though they are sometimes slightly bitter[1][6][7][8]. Eaten out of hand, used in preserves or dried for later use[8]. 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[9].

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

Used as a rootstock for the sour cherry[10].

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[11].
There are no medicinal uses listed for Prunus pumila.

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[4]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[4]. 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[6][4]. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame[4].

Layering in spring.

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



Cultivation

Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil[13][6]. Thrives in a loamy soil, doing well on limestone[6]. Prefers some chalk in the soil but apt to become chlorotic if too much is present[13]. Requires a sunny position[6]. Established plants are very drought resistant[10].

This species is hardy to about -35°c when the plants are fully dormant[10], though the young growth in spring is fairly tender[K]. Plants are susceptible to mildew in low areas[10]. Plants thrive in areas with a short growing season[10]. The fruits are highly resistant to all fruit worms[10]. Plants can produce fruit in 3 years from seed[10]. A single plant, growing at Hilliers Arboretum in 1999, produced a good crop of fruit with viable seed, so the species is almost certainly self-fertile[K]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[11].

Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[4].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Prunus pumila. 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 pumila.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Prunus pumila
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
2
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
  • Strong wind
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

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"image:Prunus pumila, South Ste. Marys Island.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Prunus pumila, South Ste. Marys Island.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


"image:Prunus pumila, South Ste. Marys Island.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Prunus pumila, South Ste. Marys Island.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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References

  1. ? 1.01.11.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
  4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.64.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.6 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences (1978-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.18.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.2 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.610.7 Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. ()
  11. ? 11.011.111.2 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  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. ? 13.013.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  14. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)

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