Sand cherry (Prunus pumila)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Sand cherry
Give a thumbs up Dwarf American Cherry

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 1 to 8 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Broadleaf
Fruit: Edible to birds
Other: almost black drupe about 1/2 inch diameter
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Beach Front
Uses: Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Eating Methods: Raw
Cooked
Fermented
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Resistances: Fire Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
In my garden

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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Apr 15, 2019 5:30 PM

This Dwarf Plum or Sandcherry is native from New Brunswick to southern Manitoba down into the central Plains to Kansas to around the Great Lakes to some spots in the Appalachians to northern New Jersey to New England, growing in dry sandy sites in neutral to slightly alkaline soils. It an irregular, loosely branched shrub that spreads by rhizomes, often is only about 2 feet high, but can get to 8 feet high. Many botanists recognize three varieties based mostly on different leaf shapes. The leaves are 1.5 to 2.5 inches long by 1 inch wide, darker green above and getting a good fall color of yellow to red. The small, white, numerous flowers are about 1/2 inch across with 5 rounded petals with one style surrounded by white stamens with yellow tips, blooming in spring before the leaves unfold. The fruit is a nearly black, shiny, rounded drupe about 1/2 inch in diameter with a single bitter seed inside. The fleshy fruit can be delicious or tart, but is edible for humans as raw or cooked or in preserves, but the seed is bitter and should not be eaten. I have not seen this species yet, but I'll look for it. Some native plant nurseries sell some. I saw one photo online that is about 8 feet high in Minnesota and looks good to me in its informal form. This species was crossed with the Purpleleaf Plum Tree to produce the Purple Sandcherry shrub (Prunus x cistena) that is commonly planted.

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