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SYNONYMS

* _Amygdalopersica_ Daniel * _Amygdalophora_ M.Roem. * _Amygdalopsis_ M.Roem. * _Amygdalus_ L. * _Armeniaca_ Scop. * _Cerapadus_ Buia * _Ceraseidos_ Siebold & Zucc. * _Cerasus_ Mill. * _Emplectocladus_ Torr. * _Lauro-cerasus_ Duhamel * _Laurocerasus_ M.Roem. * _Maddenia_ Hook.f. flowers in early spring, sessile or nearly so, not on leafed shoots; fruit with a groove along one side; stone deeply grooved; type species: _ Prunus dulcis _ (almond). * Subgenus _Prunus_, plums and apricots : axillary buds solitary; flowers in early spring stalked, not on leafed shoots; fruit with a groove along one side, stone rough; type species: _ Prunus domestica _ (plum) * Subgenus _Cerasus_, cherries : axillary buds single; flowers in early spring in corymbs, long-stalked, not on leafed shoots; fruit not grooved, stone smooth; type species: _ Prunus cerasus _ (sour cherry) * Subgenus _Lithocerasus_: axillary buds in threes; flowers in early spring in corymbs, long-stalked, not on leafed shoots; fruit not grooved, stone smooth; type species: _ Prunus pumila _ (sand cherry) * Subgenus _Padus_, bird cherries : axillary buds single; flowers in late spring in racemes on leafy shoots, short-stalked; fruit not grooved, stone smooth; type species: _ Prunus padus _ (European bird cherry) * Subgenus _Laurocerasus_, cherry-laurels : mostly evergreen (all the other subgenera are deciduous ); axillary buds single; flowers in early spring in racemes, not on leafed shoots, short-stalked; fruit not grooved, stone smooth; type species: _ Prunus laurocerasus _ (European cherry-laurel)

Another recent DNA study found that there are two clades : _Prunus_-_Maddenia_, with _Maddenia_ basal within _Prunus_, and _ Exochorda _-_ Oemleria _-_ Prinsepia _, but further refinement shows that _Exochorda_-_Oemleria_-_Prinsepia_ is somewhat separate from _Prunus_-_Maddenia_-_Pygeum_, and that, like the traditional subfamily Maloideae with apple-like fruits, all of these genera appear to be best considered within the expanded subfamily Amygdaloideae . _Prunus_ can be divided into two clades: _Amygdalus_-_Prunus_ and _Cerasus_-_Laurocerasus_-_Padus_. Yet another study adds _Emplectocladus_ as a subgenus to the former.

CULTIVATION

_ Japanese cherry ( Prunus serrulata_) in bloom

The genus _Prunus_ includes the almond , apricot , cherry , peach and plum , all of which have cultivars developed for commercial fruit and nut production. The edible part of the almond is the seed; the almond fruit is a drupe , not a true nut . Many other species are occasionally cultivated or used for their seed and fruit.

FLOWERING CHERRIES

A number of species, hybrids , and cultivars are also grown as ornamental plants , usually for their profusion of flowers, sometimes for ornamental foliage and shape, and occasionally for their bark . These ornamentals include the group that may be collectively called "flowering cherries " (including _sakura_, the Japanese flowering cherries).

The following hybrid cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society 's Award of Garden Merit . All are described as flowering cherries, and are valued for their spring blossom.

* 'Accolade' * 'Amanogawa' * 'Ichiyo' * \'Kanzan\' * 'Pandora' * 'Pink Perfection' * 'Shirofugen' * 'Shirotae' * 'Shogetsu' * 'Spire' * 'Ukon'

OTHER USES

Species such as blackthorn (_ Prunus spinosa _), are grown for hedging, game cover, and other utilitarian purposes.

The wood of some species (notably black cherry ) is prized as a furniture and cabinetry timber , especially in North America.

Many species produce an aromatic resin from wounds in the trunk; this is sometimes used medicinally. Other minor uses include dye production.

Pygeum , a herbal remedy containing extracts from the bark of _Prunus africana _, is used as to alleviate some of the discomfort caused by inflammation in patients suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia .

Because of their considerable value as both food and ornamental plants, many _Prunus_ species have been introduced to parts of the world to which they are not native, some becoming naturalised.

_Prunus_ species are food plants for the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species (butterflies and moths ); see List of Lepidoptera which feed on _Prunus_ .

_ Prunus sp._ is included in the Tasmanian Fire Service's list of low flammability plants, indicating that it is suitable for growing within a building protection zone.

The Tree of 40 Fruit has forty varieties grafted on to one rootstock.

TOXICITY

Many species are cyanogenic ; that is, they contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides , notably amygdalin , which, on hydrolysis , yield hydrogen cyanide . Although the fruits of some may be edible by humans and livestock (in addition to the ubiquitous fructivory of birds), seeds, leaves and other parts may be toxic, some highly so. The plants contain no more than trace amounts of hydrogen cyanide, but on decomposition after crushing and exposure to air or on digestion, poisonous amounts may be generated. The trace amounts may give a characteristic taste ("bitter almond") with increasing bitterness in larger quantities, less tolerable to people than to birds, which habitually feed on specific fruits.

PESTS AND DISEASES

Cherries are prone to gummosis .

Various _Prunus_ species are winter hosts of the Damson-hop aphid, _ Phorodon humuli _, which is destructive to hops _ Humulus lupulus _ just at the time of their maturity, so it is recommended that plum trees not be grown in the vicinity of hop fields.

CORKING is a nutritional disorder in stone fruit caused by a lack of boron and/or calcium .

SPECIES

The lists below are incomplete, but include most of the better-known species.

EASTERN HEMISPHERE

* _ Prunus africana _ * _ Prunus apetala _ * _ Prunus arborea _ * _ Prunus armeniaca _ * _ Prunus avium _ * _ Prunus bifrons _ * _ Prunus brigantina _ * _ Prunus buergeriana _ * _ Prunus campanulata _ * _ Prunus canescens _ * _ Prunus cerasifera _ * _ Prunus cerasoides _ * _ Prunus cerasus _ * _ Prunus ceylanica _ * _ Prunus cocomilia _ * _ Prunus cornuta _ * _ Prunus crassifolia _ * _ Prunus davidiana _ * _ Prunus darvasica _ * _ Prunus domestica _ * _ Prunus dulcis _ * _ Prunus fruticosa _ * _ Prunus geniculata _ * _ Prunus glandulosa _ * _ Prunus grayana _ * _ Prunus incana _ * _ Prunus incisa _ * _ Prunus jacquemontii _ * _ Prunus japonica _ * _ Prunus korshinskyi _ * _ Prunus kotschyi _ * _ Prunus laurocerasus _ * _ Prunus laxinervis _ * _ Prunus lusitanica _ * _ Prunus maackii _ * _ Prunus mahaleb _ * _ Prunus mandshurica _ * _ Prunus maximowiczii _ * _ Prunus mume _ * _ Prunus murrayana _ * _ Prunus myrtifolia _ * _ Prunus nipponica _ * _ Prunus occidentalis _ * _ Prunus padus _ * _ Prunus persica _ * _ Prunus pleuradenia _ * _ Prunus pseudocerasus _ * _ Prunus prostrata _ * _ Prunus salicina _ * _ Prunus sargentii _ * _ Prunus scoparia _ * _ Prunus serrula _ * _ Prunus serrulata _ * _ Prunus sibirica _ * _ Prunus simonii _ * _ Prunus sogdiana _ * _ Prunus speciosa _ * _ Prunus spinosa _ * _ Prunus spinulosa _ * _ Prunus ssiori _ * _ Prunus subhirtella _ * _ Prunus tenella _ * _ Prunus tomentosa _ * _ Prunus triloba _ * _ Prunus turneriana _ * _ Prunus ursina _ * _ Prunus vachuschtii _ * _ Prunus verecunda _ * _ Prunus yedoensis _ * _ Prunus zippeliana _

WESTERN HEMISPHERE

* _ Prunus alabamensis _ * _ Prunus alleghaniensis _ * _ Prunus americana _ * _ Prunus andersonii _ * _ Prunus angustifolia _ * _ Prunus buxifolia _ * _ Prunus caroliniana _ * _ Prunus cortapico _ * _ Prunus cuthbertii _ * _ Prunus emarginata _ * _ Prunus eremophila _ * _ Prunus fasciculata _ * _ Prunus fremontii _ * _ Prunus geniculata _ * _ Prunus gentryi _ * _ Prunus gracilis _ * _ Prunus havardii _ * _ Prunus hortulana _ * _ Prunus huantensis _ * _ Prunus ilicifolia _ * _ Prunus integrifolia _ * _ Prunus maritima _ * _ Prunus mexicana _ * _ Prunus minutiflora _ * _ Prunus murrayana _ * _ Prunus munsoniana _ * _ Prunus myrtifolia _ * _ Prunus nigra _ * _ Prunus pensylvanica _ * _ Prunus pumila _ * _ Prunus rigida _ * _ Prunus rivularis _ * _ Prunus serotina _ * _ Prunus sphaerocarpa _ * _ Prunus subcordata _ * _ Prunus subcorymbosa _ * _ Prunus texana _ * _ Prunus umbellata _ * _ Prunus virginiana _

PALAEOBOTANICAL MODELS

_ The development sequence of a nectarine ( Prunus persica_) over a 7.5 month period, from bud formation in early winter to fruit ripening in midsummer

The earliest known fossil _Prunus_ specimens are wood, drupe and seed and a leaf from the middle Eocene of the Princeton Chert of British Columbia . Using the known age as calibration data, recent research by Oh and Potter reconstructs a partial phylogeny of some Rosaceae from a number of nucleotide sequences . According to this study, _Prunus_ and its "sister clade" Maloideae (apple subfamily) diverged at 44.3 mya (or 43 million years ago, well before most of the primates existed). This date is within the Lutetian , or older middle Eocene . Stokey and Wehr report: "The Eocene was a time of rapid evolution and diversification in Angiosperm families such as the Rosaceae ...."

The Princeton finds are among a large number of angiosperm fossils from the Okanagan Highlands dating to the late early and middle Eocene. _ Crataegus _ is found at three locations: Mcabee, Republic and Princeton , while _Prunus_ is found at those locations and Quilchena and Chuchua. A recent recapitulation of research on the topic reported that the Rosaceae were more diverse at higher altitudes. The Okanagan formations date to as early as 52 mya, but the 44.3 mya date, which is approximate, depending on assumptions, might still apply. The authors state: "... the McAbee flora records a diverse early middle Eocene angiosperm-dominated forest."

ETYMOLOGY

The Online Etymology Dictionary presents the customary derivations of plum and prune from Latin _prūnum_, the plum fruit. The tree is _prūnus_; and Pliny uses _prūnus silvestris_ to mean the blackthorn . The word is not native Latin, but is a loan from Greek προῦνον (_prounon_), which is a variant of προῦμνον (_proumnon_), origin unknown. The tree is προύμνη (_proumnē_). Most dictionaries follow Hoffman, _Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Griechischen_, in making some form of the word a loan from a pre-Greek language of Asia Minor , related to Phrygian .

The first use of _Prunus_ as a genus name was by Carl Linnaeus in _Hortus Cliffortianus_ of 1737, which went on to become _Species Plantarum _. In that work, Linnaeus attributes the word to "Varr.", who it is assumed must be Marcus Terentius Varro .

NOTES

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ _J_ Potter, D.; Eriksson, T.; Evans, R.C.; Oh, S.; Smedmark, J.E.E.; Morgan, D.R.; Kerr, M.; Robertson, K.R.; Arsenault, M.; Dickinson, T.A.; Campbell, C.S. (2007). " Phylogeny and classification of Rosaceae". _ Plant Systematics and Evolution_. 266 (1–2): 5–43. doi :10.1007/s00606-007-0539-9 .

* ^ European Garden Flora; vol. 4 * ^ Linnaeus Carolus; Sprengel, Curtius (editor) (1830). _Genera Plantarum Editio Nona (Genera plantarum, ninth edition)_. Gottingen: Dieterich page 402 for Amygdalus, page 403 for Prunus. External link in publisher= (help )CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link )CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link ) * ^ Bailey, Liberty Hyde (1898). _Sketch of the Evolution of Our Native Fruits_. New York: The MacMillan Company. p. 181. * ^ Bortiri, Esteban, E.; Oh, S. H.; Jiang, J.; Baggett, S.; Granger, A.; Weeks, C.; Buckingham, M.; Potter, D.; Parfitt, D. E.; et al. (2001). " Phylogeny and Systematics of Prunus (Rosaceae) as Determined by Sequence Analysis of ITS and the Chloroplast trnL-trnF Spacer DNA". _Systematic Botany_. 26 (4): 797–807. JSTOR 3093861 . . Abstract and first page for free. * ^ Do a search in the ITIS database on the scientific name _Prunus_ for its current list. * ^ Other established species appear as well, which for whatever reasons are not yet in ITIS. * ^ _A_ _B_ Lee, Sangtae; Wen, Jun (2001). "A phylogenetic analysis of Prunus and the Amygdaloideae (Rosaceae) using ITS sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA". _American Journal of Botany_. 88 (1): 150–160. JSTOR 2657135 . PMID 11159135 . doi :10.2307/2657135 . * ^ Okie, William (July 2003). "Stone Fruits". _Encyclopedia of Fruits and Nuts_. * ^ Bortiri, Esteban; Oh, Sang-Hun; Gao, Fang-You; Potter, Dan (2002). "The phylogenetic utility of nucleotide sequences of sorbitol 6-phosphate dehydrogenase in _Prunus_ (Rosaceae)" (PDF). _American Journal of Botany_. 89 (11): 1697–1708. PMID 21665596 . doi :10.3732/ajb.89.10.1697 . The specification is _Emplectocladus_ (Torr.) Sargent * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Accolade\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Amanogawa\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Ichyo\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Kanzan\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Pandora\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Pink Perfection\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Shirofugen\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Shirotae\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Shogetsu\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Spire\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "RHS Plant Selector - _Prunus_ \'Ukon\'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ Chladil and Sheridan, Mark and Jennifer. "Fire retardant garden plants for the urban fringe and rural areas" (PDF). _www.fire.tas.gov.au_. Tasmanian Fire Research Fund. * ^ "The Gift Of Graft: New York Artist\'s Tree To Grow 40 Kinds Of Fruit". _ NPR _. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015. * ^ "This tree produces 40 different types of fruit". _ScienceAlert_. Retrieved 3 January 2015. * ^ Armstrong, E. Frankland (1913). "Glucosides". In Davis, W.A.; Sadtler, Samuel S. _Allen's Commercial Organic Analysis, etc._ (Fourth ed.). Philadelphia: P. Blakiston's Son & Co. p. 102. Amygdalin ... is found in bitter almonds and in the kernels of peaches, cherries, plums, apples, etc. It is hydrolysed by emulsin to hydrogen cyanide, usually in their leaves and seeds * ^ Cook, Laurence Martin; Callow, Robert S. (1999). _Genetic and evolutionary diversity: the sport of nature_ (2nd ed.). Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes. p. 135. * ^ Rothamstead Insect Survey; Rothamstead Research (n.d.). "Damson-hop aphid, _Phorodon humuli_". * ^ Day, Kevin (1999-01-27). " Peach and Nectarine Cork Spot:A Review of the 1998 Season". University of California, Davis. Retrieved 2010-04-01. * ^ _A_ _B_ Stockey Potter, Daniel (2005). "Molecular phylogenetic systematics and biogeography of tribe Neillieae (Rosaceae) using DNA sequences of cpDNA, rDNA, and LEAFY1". _American Journal of Botany_. 92 (1): 179–192. PMID 21652396 . doi :10.3732/ajb.92.1.179 . * ^ A date of 76 mya is given for Rosaceae, which is within the late Cretaceous . * ^ Dillhoff & Leopold (2005), pp 151–166 * ^ Dillhoff & Leopold (2005), p 165. * ^ "plum". _Online Etymological Dictionary_. * ^ "prune". _Online Etymological Dictionary_. * ^ "prūnum". _Lewis's Elementary Latin Dictionary_. Perseus Digital Library. 1890. * ^ "prūnus". _Lewis's Elementary Latin Dictionary_. Perseus Digital Library. 1890. * ^ "προῦμνον". _Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon_. Perseus Digital Library. * ^ "προύμνη". _Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon_. Perseus Digital Library.

REFERENCES

* Dillhoff, Richard M; Leopold, Estella B.; Manchester, Steven R. (February 2005). "The McAbee flora of British Columbia and its relation to the Early-Middle Eocene Okanagan Highlands flora of the Pacific Northwest" (PDF). _Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences_. 42 (2): 151. doi :10.1139/e04-084 . * Stockey, Ruth A.; Wehr, Wesley C. (1996). "Flowering Plants in and around Eocene Lakes of the Interior". In Ludvigson, Rolf. _Life in Stone: a Natural History of British Columbia's Fossils_. Vancouver: UBCPess. ISBN 0-7748-0578-1 . .

EXTERNAL LINKS

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