A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Prunus nigra Ait.

Canada Plum

Modern name

Prunus nigra Aiton

A deciduous tree 20 to 30 ft high, branches erect, forming a narrow head. Leaves broadly elliptical or obovate with a long, abrupt apex, the base rounded or often slightly heart-shaped, 3 or 4 in. long, more than half as wide, doubly round-toothed, downy all over or only on the midrib and veins beneath; leaf­stalk 12 in. to 1 in. long, with two dark glands near the top. Flowers pure white, 114 in. across, produced three or four together in stalkless clusters, each flower on a reddish, glabrous stalk 12 in. or more long; calyx usually glabrous, reddish, with narrow-pointed glandular lobes. Fruits oval, 1 to 114 in. long, red or yellowish red, with a compressed stone 34 in. long.

Native of Canada and the north-eastern United States; introduced in 1773. Flowers fragrant, produced towards the end of April, turning reddish with age. This plum has been much confused with P. americana, from which it differs in the broader, round-toothed, more downy leaves, in the glandular leaf-stalks, larger and more fragrant flowers, and stiffer habit. It was cultivated at Kew in the 18th century, but has never been common.



Other species in the genus