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Prunus

Prunus is a genus of trees and shrubs traditionally placed within the rose family, Rosaceae, but now often placed in its own family, the Prunaceae (or Amygdalaceae), or subfamily, Prunoideae (or Amygdaloideae). This genus includes the cherries, plums, peach, and apricot. The fruit of all Prunus species is a drupe with a relatively large pit, or stone. Leaves are simple and usually lanceolate, unlobed and toothed along the margin. Also in the family Prunaceae is the almond genus Amygdalus.

Prunus species native to North America:

  • Prunus allegheniensis -- Allegheny plum, in the Appalachian belt
  • Prunus americana -- wild plum, most of the U.S. east of the Great Plains and southernmost Canada
  • Prunus angustifolia -- Chickasaw plum, southeast U.S.
  • Prunus hortulana -- Hortulan plum, mostly Missouri and Illinois and surrounding areas
  • Prunus maritima -- beach plum, northeast Atlantic coast
  • Prunus mexicana -- bigtree plum, southeast Great Plains
  • Prunus munsoniana -- wild-goose plum, mostly Missouri and eastern Kansas and surrounding areas
  • Prunus nigra -- Canada plum, southeasternmost Canada west to Manitoba and northeasternmost U.S.
  • Prunus pensylvanica -- pin cherry, southern half of Canada and northernmost U.S.
  • Prunus pumila -- sand cherry, southeast and south-central Canada and northern U.S. west to Wyoming
  • Prunus serotina -- wild black cherry, southeasternmost Canada and most of U.S. east of Great Plains, also found in Arizona and Guatemala
  • Prunus virginiana -- chokecherry, southern Canada and most of eastern U.S. except for deep south

Horticultural species planted (and sometimes escaped) in North America include:

  • Prunus armeniaca -- apricot
  • Prunus avium -- sweet cherry
  • Prunus cerasus -- sour cherry
  • Prunus domesticus -- common plum, including Damson plum
  • Prunus fruticosa -- ground cherry
  • Prunus mahaleb -- Mahaleb cherry
  • Prunus padus -- European bird cherry
  • Prunus persica -- peach

See also stone fruit, blossom, fruit tree

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