Common name: Cherry Plum
Prunus cerasifera Ehrh. APNI*
Description: Slender twiggy deciduous tree with young shoots glabrous or soon becoming so; axillary buds solitary.
Leaves ovate to obovate, 2–5 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, ± glabrous except veins on lower surface, margins toothed; petiole 5–15 mm long.
Flowers solitary, or in clusters of up to 4 on spurs, usually white, c. 2.5 c. across; pedicels 10–30 mm long.
Drupe subglobose, mostly 15–25 mm diam., cherry-like, red or yellow, flesh juicy and sweet.
Distribution and occurrence: usually grown as a stock for other plums, sometimes grown for its fruits; a purple-leaved cultivar widely planted for foliage in streets and gardens; rarely naturalised. Native of Europe.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas. *S.A. *W.A.
The commonly cultivated plum, P. domestica L., has possibly become established from discarded seeds. It differs from P. cerasifera in the pubescent lower surface of the leaves and the ellipsoid, bluish black, often larger, fruit. The same applies to P. salicina Lindley and its hybrid derivatives, distinguished by the larger, globose red-green fruits with yellowish pulp. Many cultivated plums are hybrid derivatives of one or more of these species. Formerly in family Amygdalaceae.
Text by G. J. Harden & A. N. Rodd
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
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