Prunus pumila L. - Sand Cherry


 

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Prunus pumila - (image 1 of 6)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Rosaceae

Habitat

Common on dunes facing Lake Michigan, occasionally further inland in sandy prairies. Also in dry to mesic prairies.

Associates

In dry prairies with Andropogon scoparius, Erynium yuccifolium, Helianthus mollis, Opuntia humifusa, Parthenium integrifolium.

Distribution

Quebec west to Manitoba, ND, WY, south NJ, PA, KY, TN to CO

Morphology

Small deciduous shrub, usually multi-stemmed and irregularly shaped. Leaves alternate, simple, narrowly oblanceolate to obovate, glabrous, teeth reduced or absent below the middle, widest above the middle. Stems reddish-gray with lighter horizontal lenticels. Flowers white, less than 1" across; sepals glabrous; pedicels less than .5" long. Fruit an oval drupe, to .5" in diameter, almost black, astringent.

Notes

Flowers mid April to late June

Wetland indicator: Upland

These pictures are of var. pumila, which occurs along the shores of the Great Lakes and some areas inland. Several other recognized varieties exist and are separated based on growth habit and leaf shape. The fruit is edible but...I couldn't eat one.

References

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY.

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

 


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 Michael Hough 2005