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.
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
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
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
Other P Tree Species