New Book ** Edible Perennials: 50 Top perennials from Plants For A Future. Current interest in forest or woodland garden designs reflects an awareness that permanent mixed plantings are inherently more sustainable than annual monocultures. They safeguard and enrich soil ecosystems... more >>

   Bookmark and Share
   
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List
Prunus padus - L.                
                 
Common Name Bird Cherry, European bird cherry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 3-6
Known Hazards The seed and leaves contain hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is readily detected by its bitter taste. Usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm, any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten[19, 65]. 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 By streams and in moist open woods[9], usually on alkaline soils[98] but also found on acid soils in upland areas[186].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, Siberia and the Himalayas.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Prunus padus is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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.

Synonyms
Padus racemosa.
Prunus padus Bird Cherry, European bird cherry


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:312_Prunus_padus.jpg
Prunus padus Bird Cherry, European bird cherry
   
Habitats
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Fruit;  Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 5, 13, 46]. The fruit usually has a bitter taste and is used mainly for making jam and preserves[11, 183]. The fruit is about the size of a pea and contains one large seed[200]. Flowers - chewed[177, 183]. Young leaves - cooked[177]. Used as a boiled vegetable in Korea[183]. Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity. A tea is made from the bark[183].
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.

Anodyne;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Sedative.

The bark is mildly anodyne, diuretic, febrifuge and sedative[9, 13]. An infusion is used in the treatment of colds, feverish conditions etc[9]. The bark is harvested when the tree is in flower and can be dried for later use[9]. 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;  Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[168]. Wood - hard, heavy, durable, easy to work, polishes well. It is much valued by cabinet makers[11, 46, 115].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Succeeds in any soil, preferring a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil[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]. Very hardy but it does not like exposure to strong winds[186]. A very hardy tree[1, 11], tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c[184]. A very ornamental species[1], there are some named varieties[188]. The sub-species P. padus borealis is found in Scandinavia and the mountains of C. Europe. It is a shrub growing only to about 3 metres high[184]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[238]. Trees usually produce lots of suckers and will soon regenerate by this method if the main trunk is cut down[186]. This tree is a host for cereal virus vector[98]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Trees only cast a light shade and do not themselves thrive in heavy shade[186]. The fruits are relished by birds and the flowers and leaves attract many insects. Special Features:Not 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. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood, October/November in a frame. Suckers removed in late winter. Layering in spring.
Related Plants                                         
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
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 besseyiWestern Sand Cherry41
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
Prunus cocomilia 21
12345
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1117200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment                                         
 
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.

Subject : Prunus padus  
             
                                        
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
   
 

Plant Uses

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

Content

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

PFAF Newsletter

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email newsletter. 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.