Prunus americana

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Prunus americana, Marsh. (P. latifolia, Moench. P.hiemalis, Michx., at least in part. P. ignota, Nels.).Common Wild Plum. Figs. 3218, 3219; also Figs. 3075, 3076. Small twiggy spreading usually thorny tree mostly forming thickets, with gray branches or gray- brown twigs: lvs. obovate, oblong-obovate or sometimes oblong-ovate, acuminate, thickish, the margins mostly sharp-serrate or sometimes almost incised, not glossy, strongly reticulated beneath and pubescent on the veins: fls. large, white, slender-stalked, the calyx-lobes entire and pubescent on the inside,appearing in small clusters in advance of the lvs. : fr. various, but mostly small and hard,the skin tough and glaucous and not shining, yellow and variously overlaid with red; stone turgid. Woods and copses. Mass, and N. Y. to Man., Utah, and New Mex., and in the E. to Savannah, Ga., and nearly to the Gulf; the most widely distributed of the native true plums. It sometimes reaches a height of 15-20 ft. S.S. 4:150.—In the E., the frs. are usually austere,and often not fit for eating; but in the W., edible- fruited forms are found in abundance. It is the most prolific source of cult, native plums for the cold N., giving rise to such varieties as Blackhawk, Cherokee, Craig, Forest Garden, De Soto, Golden Queen, Gay- lord,Rollingstone, Newton, Hawkeye.

Var. mollis, Torr. & Gray (P. lanata, Mack. & Bush. P. americana var. lanata, Sudw.). Lvs. and shoots soft- pubescent or sometimes almost tomentose. III., Iowa, Mo.—To this form belong the Wolf, Van Buren, Quaker, and American Eagle plums. There is also a double-fld. variety.


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