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Prunus dielsiana Schneid.

Modern name

Prunus dielsiana (C.K.Schneid.) Koehne

A deciduous cherry up to 30 ft high; young shoots glabrous. Leaves oval, obovate, or inclined to oblong, abruptly narrowed at the apex to a short slender point, rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base, sharply and often doubly toothed, 3 to 7 in. long, 114 to 3 in. wide, glabrous above, distinctly downy beneath, especially on the midrib and veins; stalk 14 to 58 in. long, usually downy and furnished with one to three large glands. Flowers 1 in. wide, pink or white, produced before the leaves, three to six in a cluster, each on a hairy stalk 12 to 114 in. long. Calyx-tube bell-shaped, hairy, its reflexed awl-shaped lobes longer than the tube; petals narrowly oval, deeply notched at the end. Fruits globose, 13 in. wide, red. The flowers spring from the axis of an involucre of conspicuously glandular-fringed bracts. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 174.

Native of W. Hupeh, China; introduced in 1907 by Wilson. It has about the same degree of beauty as the other wild cherries introduced by Wilson at the same time, but is rather distinct on account of the downy undersurface of its large leaves, the hairy flower-stalks, and the very glandular-edged bracts. Nearly related to it is:

P. cyclamina Koehne – This was introduced by Wilson from the same region in 1907 and also in 1904 from W. Szechwan, when collecting for Messrs Veitch, in whose nursery it first flowered. It differs from P. dielsiana in the leaves being nearly or quite glabrous below, and in the glabrous leaf-stalk and calyx-tube. The flowers are a charming pink and a little over 1 in. wide, the oblong petals deeply notched at the end. The lobes of the calyx are longer than the tube and are much reflexed as in P. dielsiana; their resemblance to the recurved petals of a cyclamen suggested the specific name. Both species have very linear stipules about 12 in. long, conspicuously fringed with stalked glands.

At The Grange, Benenden, Kent, P. cyclamina has made a small, spreading tree which attained a height of 18 ft in thirty years. It is quite hardy there and produces self-sown seedlings, but Capt. Ingram suggests it might be more vigorous if grafted on gean. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 338.



Other species in the genus