Synonyms: Pygeum APNI*
Description: Trees or shrubs, mostly deciduous, flowers usually appearing in spring before the leaves. Stipules absent.
Flowers perigynous. Petals usually pink or white. Stamens 20–30. Carpel solitary, seated in the cup-shaped hypanthium; ovules 2 per carpel but becoming 1 by abortion.
Drupe usually fleshy and edible, often furrowed on one side, 1-seeded.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 430 species, cosmopolitan, mainly northern temperate. Australia: >10 species, (all but 1 species naturalised), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A. [including Amygdalus, Cerasus, Laurocerasus, Padus and Pygeum]
Many species are cultivated in cooler climates for their fruits or as ornamentals. Some species have become established along roadsides after the seeds have been discarded; rarely fully naturalised. Prunus has previously been placed in family Amygdalaceae.
Text by G.J. Harden & A.N. Rodd, Flora of New South Wales Vol. 1 (1990); last revised May 2017 (PGK)
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed May 2017)
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Fruit mostly more than 15 mm diam., usually furrowed on one side, usually pruinose, sometimes pubescent; terminal bud present or absent; flowers 1–3, appearing before the deciduous leaves||2|
|Fruit mostly less than 15 mm diam., neither furrowed nor pruinose; terminal bud present; inflorescence many-flowered, either a raceme more than 6 cm long or flowers in more or less umbel-like clusters; either leaves not deciduous or flowers appearing after leaves have developed||5|
|2||Flowers and fruits on pedicels more than 5–15 mm long||3|
|Flowers and fruits more or less sessile|
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|3||Petioles without glands; margins of leaves evenly and regularly toothed, teeth more or less acute; flower buds not enclosed in conspicuous brownish bracts||Prunus cerasifera|
|Petioles with glands; margins of leaves doubly toothed (teeth of 2 sizes), larger teeth more or less obtuse; flower clusters enclosed in conspicuous brownish bracts in bud, these persisting around flower pedicels|
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|4||Leaves oblong to more or less lanceolate; petiole often with glands near apex; stone deeply pitted and furrowed||Prunus persica|
|Leaves broad-ovate to more or less circular; petiole without glands; stone smooth with a thickened furrowed edge|
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|5||Glands usually present on petioles; deciduous plants||6|
|Petioles without glands; evergreen plants|
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|6||Flowers in umbels; margins of leaves doubly toothed, larger teeth more or less rounded||Prunus cerasus|
|Flowers in racemes; margins of leaves regularly and finely toothed, teeth similar in size|
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|7||Leaves usually more than 5 cm long, oblong-elliptic to obovate; teeth acute||Prunus serotina|
|Leaves usually less than 5 cm long, broad-ovate to more or less circular; teeth rounded|
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|8||Margins of leaves crenate-toothed; racemes exceeding leaves||Prunus lusitanica|
|Margins of leaves remotely small-toothed, sometimes more or less entire; racemes shorter than leaves|
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