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Prunus tangutica (Batal.) Koehne

Modern name

Prunus tangutica (Batalin) Koehne


Amygdalus communis var. tangutica Batal.; A. tangutica (Batal.) Korshinsky;

A large deciduous bush up to 15 ft or more high, of dense habit; young shoots very minutely downy or glabrous, grey, becoming brown later, often spine-tipped. Leaves, except on the young shoots, mostly clustered on short spurs or at the nodes, oblanceolate or oblong, pointed or bluntish, tapered at the base, shallowly round-toothed, 1 to 2 in. long, 14 to 12 in. wide; stalk slender, 12 in. or less long. Flowers solitary, stalkless, 1 in. wide, of a beautiful rosy pink, opening in March. Petals roundish-obovate; calyx-lobes fringed with pale hairs, otherwise glabrous; stamens white, with yellow anthers. Fruits described as 45 in. wide, covered with velvety down, the fleshy part merely a thin layer; according to Wilson it dehisces (splits), on which character one of its specific names is based. Bot. Mag., t. 9239

A native of W. China; discovered in W. Kansu by the Russian explorer Potanin; introduced by Wilson in 1910 from the Sungpan valley, W. Szechwan, during his second expedition for the Arnold Arboretum and originally distributed under the name P. dehiscens. It is a beautiful species, very distinct in its bushy, twiggy mode of growth, but it has never spread into gardens. There are specimens at Highdown in Sussex and at Bodnant in North Wales, both raised from the seeds sent by Wilson.

Although classified as an almond, P. tangutica is one of the species linking the almonds with the peaches.



Other species in the genus