Prunus spp.
Family: Rosaceae
Prunus image
Max Licher  
Tree or shrub Leaves: alternate, usually toothed. The stalk has small, early-falling stipules near the base and usually has a conspicuous pair of glands near the top. Flowers: bisexual, can be solitary but usually in clusters, white to pink or red, with numerous stamens (about twenty) and a usually single pistil with an elongated style, superior ovary, and two ovules (one is aborted). Sepals: five, fused at the base, with spreading to reflexed lobes, usually falling after flowering. Petals: five, elliptic to inversely egg-shaped and spreading. Fruit: fleshy with a hard center stone (drupe), often more or less spherical but varied, usually covered with a waxy whitish coating (glaucous). The stone is usually compressed and bears a single seed. Bark: smooth or breaking into small plates, often with many horizontal corky spots (lenticels). Buds: with many overlapping scales.

Flowering: spring, usually before the leaves emerge

Habitat and ecology: Thickets and woodlands. Some Prunus species are native, while others are introduced and sometimes escape into natural areas.

Notes: The genus Prunus includes many important crops such as cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, and almonds.

Etymology: Prunus is the Latin name for plum.

Author: The Morton Arboretum

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Image of Prunus takesimensis
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Image of Prunus x cistena
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