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Prunus






PRUNUS AMYGDALUS (_syn Amygdalus communis_).--Common Almond. Barbary,

1548. Whether by a suburban roadside, or even in the heart of the

crowded city, the Almond seems quite at home, and is at once one of the

loveliest and most welcome of early spring-flowering trees. The flowers

are rather small for the family, pale pink, and produced in great

quantity before the leaves. There are several distinct forms of the

Almond, differing mainly in the colour of the flowers, one being pink,

another red, while a third has double flowers. P. Amygdalus macrocarpa

(Large-fruited Almond) is by far the handsomest variety in cultivation,

the flowers being large, often 3 inches in diameter, and white tinged

with pink, particularly at the base of the petals. The flowers, too, are

produced earlier than those of any other Almond, while the tree is of

stout growth and readily suited with both soil and site.



P. AMYGDALUS DULCIS (_syn A. dulcis_), Sweet Almond, of which there are

three distinct varieties, P.A. dulcis purpurea, P.A. dulcis macrocarpa,

and P.A. dulcis pendula, should be included in every collection of these

handsome flowering plants.



P. AVIUM JULIANA (_syn Cerasus Juliana_).--St. Julian's Cherry. South

Europe. This bears large flowers of a most beautiful and delicate blush

tint. P. Avium multiplex is a double form of the Wild Cherry, or Gean,

with smaller leaves than the type.



P. BOISSIERII (_syn Amygdalus Boissierii_).--Asia Minor, 1879. This is a

bushy shrub, with almost erect, long, and slender branches, and

furnished with leaves an inch long, elliptic, and thick of texture.

Flowers pale flesh-coloured, and produced abundantly. It is a very

ornamental and distinct plant, and is sure, when better known, to

attract a considerable amount of attention.



P. CERASIFERA (_syn P. Myrobalana_).--Cherry, or Myrobalan Plum. Native

Country unknown. A medium-sized tree, with an abundance of small white

flowers, which are particularly attractive if they escape the early

spring frosts. It is of stout, branching habit, with a well-rounded

head, and has of late years attracted a good deal of notice as a hedge

plant. P. cerasifera Pissardii, the purple-leaved Cherry plum, is a

remarkable and handsome variety, in which the leaves are deep purple,

thus rendering the plant one of the most distinct and ornamental-foliaged

of the family. It produces its white, blush-tinted flowers in May. It

was received by M.A. Chatenay, of Sceau, from M. Pissard, director of

the garden of His Majesty the Shah of Persia. When it flowered it was

figured in the _Revue Horticole_, 1881, p. 190.



P. CERASUS (_syn Cerasus vulgaris_).--Common Cherry. A favourite

medium-sized tree, and one that lends itself readily to cultivation. As

an ornamental park tree this Cherry, though common, must not be

despised, for during summer, when laden with its pure white flowers, or

again in autumn when myriads of the black, shining fruits hang in

clusters from its branches, it will be readily admitted that few trees

have a more beautiful or conspicuous appearance, P. Cerasus flore-pleno

(double-flowered Cherry) is a distinct and desirable variety. P. Cerasus

multiplex is a very showy double form, more ornamental than P. Avium

muliplex, and also known under the names of _Cerasus ranunculiflora_ and

_C. Caproniana multiplex_. P. Cerasus semperflorens (_syn Cerasus

semperflorens_), the All Saints, Ever Flowering, or Weeping, Cherry, is

another valuable variety, of low growth, and with gracefully drooping

branches, particularly when the tree is old. It is a very desirable lawn

tree, and flowers at intervals during the summer.



P. CHAMAECERASUS (_syn Cerasus Chamaecerasus_).--Ground Cherry. Europe,

1597. This is a dwarf, slender-branched, and gracefully pendent shrub,

of free growth, undoubted hardihood, and well worthy of extended

cultivation. The variety C. Chamaecerasus variegata has the leaves

suffused with greenish lemon. There is also a creeping form named P.

Chamaecerasus pendula.



P. DAVIDIANA.--AbbE David's Almond. China. This is the tree to which,

under the name of Amygdalus Davidiana alba, a First-class Certificate

was awarded in 1892 by the Royal Horticultural Society. The typical

species is a native of China, from whence it was introduced several

years ago, but it is still far from common. It is the earliest of the

Almonds to unfold its white flowers, for in mild winters some of them

expand before the end of January; but March, about the first week, it is

at its best. It is of more slender growth than the common Almond, and

the flowers, which are individually smaller, are borne in great

profusion along the shoots of the preceding year, so that a specimen,

when in full flower, is quite one mass of bloom. There is a rosy-tinted

form known as Amygdalus Davidiana rubra.



P. DIVARICATA, from the Caucasus (1822), is useful on account of the

pure white flowers being produced early in the year, and before the

leaves. It has a graceful, easy habit of growth, and inclined to spread,

and makes a neat lawn or park specimen.



P. DOMESTICA, Common Garden Plum, and P. domestica insititia, Bullace

Plum, are both very ornamental-flowering species, and some of the

varieties are even more desirable than the parent plants.



P. ILLICIFOLIA (_syn Cerasus ilicifolius_).--Holly-leaved Cherry.

California. A distinct evergreen species, with thick leathery leaves,

and erect racemes of small white flowers. A native of dry hilly ground

along the coast from San Francisco to San Diego. Hardy in most

situations, but requiring light warm soil and a dry situation.



P. LAUNESIANA (_syn Cerasus Launesiana_).--Japan, 1870. This is a

valuable addition to the already long list of ornamental-flowering

Cherries. It flowers in the early spring, when the tree is literally

enshrouded in rose-coloured flowers, and which produce a very striking

effect. The tree is quite hardy, flowers well even in a young state, and

will grow in any soil that suits our common wild species.



P. LAUROCERASUS (_syn Cerasus Laurocerasus_).--Common, or Cherry Laurel.

Levant, 1629. Although a well-known garden and park shrub, of which a

description is unnecessary, the common or Cherry Laurel, when in full

flower, must be ranked amongst our more ornamental shrubs. There are

several varieties all worthy of culture for the sake of their evergreen

leaves and showy flower spikes. P. Laurocerasus rotundifolia has leaves

that are broader in proportion to their length than those of the common

species; P. Laurocerasus caucasica is of sturdy growth, with deep green

leaves, and a compact habit of growth; P. Laurocerasus colchica is the

freest-flowering Laurel in cultivation, with horizontally arranged

branches and pale green leaves; P. Laurocerasus latifolia, a rather

tender shrub, with bold handsome foliage; and P. Laurocerasus

parvifolia, of low growth, but never very satisfactory in appearance.

Three other less common forms might also be mentioned. P. Laurocerasus

angustifolia, with narrow leaves; P. Laurocerasus camelliaefolia, with

thick leathery foliage; and P. Laurocerasus intermedia, halfway between

P. Laurocerasus angustifolia and the common Laurel.



P. LUSITANICA (_syn Cerasus lusitanica_).--Portugal Laurel. Portugal,

1648. A well-known shrub or small growing tree, and one of the most

valuable of all our hardy evergreens. It is of neat and compact growth,

with a good supply of bright green shining foliage, and bears long

spikes of pleasing creamy white perfumed flowers. P. lusitanica

myrtifolia (Myrtle-leaved Portugal Laurel) differs from the species in

the smaller, longer, and narrower leaves, which are more thickly

arranged, and in its more decided upright habit. P. lusitanica variegata

is hardly sufficiently constant or distinct to warrant recommendation.

P. lusitanica azorica, from the Azores, is of more robust growth than

the common plant, with larger and richer green leaves, and the bark of

the younger branches is of a very decided reddish tinge.



P. MAHALEB (_syn Cerasus Mahaleb_).--The Mahaleb, or Perfumed Cherry.

South Europe, 1714. This and its variegated variety P. Mahaleb variegata

are very free-flowering shrubs, and of neat growth. The variegated

variety is well worthy of attention, having a clear silvery variegation,

chiefly confined to the leaf margin, but in a less degree to the whole

of the foliage, and imparting to it a bright, glaucous tint that is

highly ornamental. There is a partially weeping form named P. Mahaleb

pendula.



P. MARITIMA.--Beach or Sand Plum. North America, 1800. A prostrate,

spreading shrub, that is of value for planting in poor sandy soil, and

along the sea coast. The flowers are small, but plentifully produced.



P. NANA (_syns Amygdalus nana_ and _A. Besseriana_).--Dwarf Almond. From

Tartary, 1683. This is of dwarf, twiggy growth, rarely more than 3 feet

high, and bearing an abundance of rose-coloured flowers in early

February. From its neat, small growth, and rich profusion of flowers,

this dwarf Almond may be reckoned as a most useful and desirable shrub.

Suckers are freely produced in any light free soil.



P. PADUS (_syn Cerasus Padus_).--Bird Cherry or Hagberry. An indigenous

species, with oblong, doubly-serrated leaves, and terminal or axillary

racemes of pure-white flowers. It is a handsome and distinct

small-growing tree, and bears exposure at high altitudes in a

commendable manner.



P. PANICULATA FLORE-PLENO (_syns Cerasus serrulata flore-pleno_ and _C.

Sieboldii_).--China, 1822. This is one of the most desirable of the

small-growing and double-flowered Cherries. It is of neat growth, with

short, stout branches that are sparsely furnished with twigs, and

smooth, obovate, pointed leaves, bristly serrated on the margins.

Flowers double and white at first, but afterwards tinged with pink,

freely produced and of good, lasting substance. P. paniculata Watereri

is a handsome variety that most probably may be linked to the species.



P. PENNSYLVANIA.--American Wild Red Cherry. North America, 1773. This is

an old-fashioned garden tree, and one of the choicest, producing in May

a great abundance of its tiny white flowers.



P. PERSICA FLORE-PLENO (_syns Amygdalus Persica flore-pleno_ and

_Persica vulgaris_), double-flowering Peach, is likewise well worthy of

culture, there being white, rose, and crimson-flowering forms.



P. PUDDUM (_syns P. Pseudo-cerasus_ and _Cerasus

Pseudo-cerasus_).--Bastard Cherry. China, 1891. There are very few more

ornamental trees in cultivation in this country than the

double-flowering Cherry. It makes a charming small-growing tree, is of

free growth and perfectly hardy, and one of, if not the most,

floriferous of the tribe. The flowers are individually large, pinky or

purplish-white, and produced with the leaves in April.



P. SINENSIS.--China, 1869. A Chinese Plum of somewhat slender growth,

and with the branches wreathed in small, white flowers. It is often seen

as a pot plant, but it is one of the hardiest of its family. P. sinensis

flore-pleno is a double white form, and the most ornamental for pot

work. There is also a variety with rose-coloured flowers.



P. SPINOSA.--Sloe, or Blackthorn. An indigenous, spiny shrub, with tiny

white flowers; and P. spinosa flore-pleno has small, rosette-like

flowers that are both showy and effective.



P. TOMENTOSA.--Japan, 1872. This is one of the most desirable of hardy

shrubs, with large, white, flesh-tinted flowers produced in the first

weeks of March, and in such quantities as almost to hide the branches

from view. It forms a well-rounded, dense bush of 5 feet or 6 feet high.



P. TRILOBA (_syns P. virgata, Amygdalopsis Lindleyi_ and _Prunopsis

Lindleyi_).--China, 1857. This is a very handsome early-flowering shrub,

that is at once recognised by the generally three-lobed leaves. It is

one of the first to flower, the blossoms being produced in March and

April, and sometimes even earlier when the plant is grown against a

sunny, sheltered wall. The semi-double flowers are large and of good

substance, and of a rosy-white tint, but deep rose in the bud state.

There is a nursery form of this plant with white flowers, named P.

triloba alba. It is quite hardy, bears pruning well, and grows quickly,

soon covering a large space of a wall or warm, sunny bank. As an

ornamental flowering lawn shrub it has few equals, the blossoms

remaining good for fully a fortnight.



P. VIRGINIANA (_syn Cerasus virginiana_) and P. SEROTINA (North American

Bird Cherries) are worthy species, with long clusters of flowers

resembling those of our native Bird Cherry. They are large-growing

species, and, particularly the latter, are finding favour with

cultivators in this country on account of their bold and ornamental

appearance.






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