Genus Prunus L. (Cherry, Plum)

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Leaves - simple; alternate; edge toothed (with the points of the teeth so incurved as to appear blunt), and often finely “crinkled.” Outline - usually long oval or long egg-shape. Apex - pointed. Base - rounded or slightly pointed. Leaf/Stem - usually with two to five tooth-like glands near the base of the leaf. Leaf - two to five inches long; thickish; polished, and of a deep shining green above; beneath, lighter and smooth, with the middle rib sometimes downy toward the base. In the autumn the leaves turn to orange and later to pale yellow. Bark - of old trunks, blackish and rough; of young trunks and on the larger branches, reddish or purplish brown; marked with scattered lines; on young shoots, at first green or olive brown, gradually becoming darker, and sprinkled (sic) with small orange dots. Flowers - white, with short stems, closely set in a long, cylinder-shaped cluster. May, June. Fruit - about one and a quarter inches in diameter; with short stems (one and a quarter to one and a third inches ) hanging in long, close clusters from the ends of the twigs. It is nearly black when ripe, and of a pleasant flavor though somewhat bitter; it is eagerly eaten by birds. August. Found - very widely distributed north, south, and west. It reaches its finest growth on the western slopes of the Alleghany Mountains. General Information - A tree fifty to eighty feet high. The wood is light and hard, of a brown or reddish tinge, becoming darker with exposure, and of very great value in cabinet work and interior finish. It is now becoming scarce, so that stained birch is often used as a substitute. The bitter aromatic bark is used as a valuable tonic; “cherry brandy” is made from the fruit.


Trees: T-Z


Newhall, Charles S. The Trees of North-Eastern America (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1900) 29


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