Wild Cherry

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Prunus avium
 Wild Cherry
Wild Cherry foliage and fruit
Habit:  ?
Height:  ?
Origin:  ?
Exposure:  ?
Water:  ?
USDA Zones:  ?
Sunset Zones:
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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Prunus avium, Linn. (Prunus Cerasus var. avium, Linn. Cerasus avium, Moench. C. nigra, Mill. -C. dulcis, Gaertn.). Sweet Cherry. Mazzard. Tall robust tree with red-brown bark, sometimes 100 ft. high, the young trees with a strong central leader and pyramidal growth, the old seedling trees sometimes becoming 2 ft. and more in diam. : lvs. generally oblong-ovate and gradually taper-pointed, dull and soft in color and texture, hanging as if limp on the young growths: fls. in dense clusters on lateral spurs and appearing with the hairy strongly conduplicate young lvs., the scales of the fl.-buds large and persistent for a time; calyx-tube glabrous, constricted near the top, the lobes reflexed and entire: fr. globular, depressed- globular or heart-like, mostly sweet, yellow or red. Eu. and W. Asia.—The parent species of the many sweet cherries (and also of the May Duke class), and now run wild in many parts of the E. The run-wild and common seedling forms, with small frs., are known under the general name of Mazzard cherries.

Mazzard stocks, mostly imported, are used as stocks for cherries, although Mahaleb is more popular with propagators because (like the Myrobalan plum) it is easier and cheaper to grow, runs more uniform and is capable of being budded through a long season.

There are many ornamental forms of the P. avium, as: var. pyramidalis, Hort., tree making a pyramidal crown; var. pendula, Hort., with drooping branches (Gn. 59. p. 267) ; var. variegate, Hort., with yellow and dull white markings on the foliage; var. asplenifolia, Kirchn., with deeply toothed and cut lvs.; var. plena, Hort., with double fls. ; var. salicifolia, Dipp., with very narrow lvs. P. Fontane- siana, Schneid. (Cerasus Fontane-siana, Spach. P. graeca, Desf.), is probably a hybrid of P. avium x P. Mahaleb, like P. avium in habit: young branchlets pubescent: lvs. about 4 in. long, differing from those of P. avium in the more crenate gland-tipped serrations: does not produce fr. To P. avium are to be referred such garden names as P. angustifolia, P. heterophylla, and others-

Var. Juliana, Bailey (Prunus Cerasus var. Juliana, Linn. Cerasus Juliana, DC.). Heart or Gean Cherries. Fr. heart- shaped, with soft flesh, as in the varieties Governor Wood, Black Tartarian, Black Eagle. These are the Guigniers and Heaumiers of the French. A weeping form is known as P. Juliana var. pendula.

Var. regalis, Bailey (C. regalis, Poit. & Turp.). Duke Cherries. Differ from the Heart cherries in having an acid flesh (and for that reason often erroneously referred to P. Cerasus). May Duke is the leading representative. Said by Hedrick ("Cherries of New York") to be "unquestionably hybrids between the Sweet cherry and Sour cherry," P. avium and P. Cerasus.

Var. duracina, Bailey (Prunus Cerasus var. duracina, Linn. C. duracina, DC. C. Bigarella, Roem.). Bigar- Reau or Hard-fleshed Cherries. Distinguished by the firm breaking flesh of the fr., which is mostly of light color. Here belong the Windsor, Yellowish Spanish, Napoleon.

Var. decumana, Koch (C. decumana, Delann. P. macrophylla, Poir. P. nicotianaefolia, Thomps.). Lvs. very large (sometimes nearly 1 ft. long and 4—6 in. broad), somewhat heart-shaped. Grown for ornament. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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