homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner
Prunus besseyi - L.H.Bailey.
                 
Common Name Western Sand Cherry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 3-6
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Sandy hills, open plains, rocky slopes or shores[43].
Range Central N. America - Manitoba and Minnesota to Kansas and Utah.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.

Prunus besseyi Western Sand Cherry


USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2
Prunus besseyi Western Sand Cherry
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook. USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, Bismarck.
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Prunus besseyi is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms
P. pumila besseyi. (Bailey.)Gleason.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[85, 183, 257]. A sweetish flavour, the fruit can also be dried for later use[183]. It makes a rather astringent but tasty jelly[182].The fruit is a reasonable size, up to 18mm in diameter, and contains one large seed[200]. Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being[238].
Other Uses
Dye;  Rootstock.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[168]. The plant can be used as a rootstock for plums[160]. It produces mostly dwarf trees that are poorly anchored[183]. Prone to severe suckering[183]. Compatible with most prunes, it is incompatible with damsons and Victoria plums[183]. Resistant to 'Crown Gall'[183]. Trees on this rootstock are productive and very cold hardy[183]. Cuttings are often easy to root but seedlings vary widely[183].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, doing well on limestone[11, 200]. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[11, 200]. Established plants are drought resistant[160]. A very hardy plant, probably tolerating temperatures down to about -50°c when it is fully dormant[160]. It is cultivated for its edible fruit in warmer climes than Britain[11], there are some named varieties[183]. It flowers very well in this country but does not usually produce much fruit[11]. Another report says that it sometimes fruits abundantly in Britain. The cultivar 'Black Beauty' crops well and has small black sweet fruits[200]. 'Hansens' has large fruits with a good flavour[200]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[238]. Plants are inclined to sucker and can produce dense thickets[160]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.
Propagation
Seed - requires 2 - 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[200]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[200]. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate[113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame[11, 200]. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame[200]. Division of suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. Layering in spring.
Other Names
Found In
Canada, North America, USA,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Prunus africanaPygeum05
Prunus alabamensisAlabama Cherry21
Prunus alleghaniensisAllegheny Plum, Davis' plum31
Prunus americanaAmerican Plum, American Wild Plum, Wild Plum32
Prunus americana lanata 31
Prunus andersoniiDesert Peach22
Prunus angustifoliaChickasaw Plum, Watson's plum, Hally Jolivette Cherry31
Prunus angustifolia watsoniiSand Plum41
Prunus apetalaClove Cherry21
Prunus arabica 21
Prunus armeniacaApricot33
Prunus aviumWild Cherry, Sweet cherry42
Prunus besserianaDwarf Almond21
Prunus bifrons 21
Prunus bokharensisBokhara Plum21
Prunus brigantinaBriançon Apricot41
Prunus buergeriana 21
Prunus campanulataTaiwan Cherry21
Prunus canescensGreyleaf Cherry31
Prunus capsica 21
Prunus carolinianaAmerican Cherry Laurel, Carolina laurelcherry, Laurel Cherry,21
Prunus cerasiferaCherry Plum, Myrobalan Plum, Newport Cherry Plum, Pissard Plum41
Prunus cerasifera divaricata 41
Prunus cerasoidesWild Himalayan Cherry22
Prunus cerasusSour Cherry12
Prunus cerasus austeraMorello Cherry31
Prunus cerasus capronianaKentish Red Cherry31
Prunus cerasus frutescensBush Sour Cherry31
Prunus cerasus marascaMaraschino Cherry31
12345
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Due to a fault in the PDF printer we are trying a few different options. Please try the one below

 

Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
 
Author
L.H.Bailey.
Botanical References
1143200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Don Kuonen Fri Aug 11 2006
I am looking for a source to buy cultivars of Besseyi sand cherry. Can anyone help?
Elizabeth H.
tsi Sat Feb 9 2008
New Mexico dept of Forestry has the wild variety. I believe Guerny's or Millers seed catalog has Hansens. If you are in the US, have you tried aggie colleges? Many of them should know via their forestry dept. Good luck!
Elizabeth H.
Krazey Sun Jun 8 2008
I'd never heard of a Sand Cherry until fairly recently. We live in the center of France (the Limousin). We are on the very edge of the Massif Central mountain range, so our soil can be very rocky, wet clay or fine tilth, (don't know the proper description)depending on what part of the land you are on and how much gardening has been done on that patch. We also get winter temps of down to -20C. 1) Would a Sand Cherry survive in my area? 2) Where in France can I source this plant? Thanks for "your ears" Krazey
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Add a comment/link

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Prunus besseyi  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design
Habitats
Translations

Twiter      Facebook

Content

Content Help
Bookshop
Support Us
Blog
Links
Old Database Search
Suppliers
Contact
About Us
News
Sign In

PFAF Newsletter

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.