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Prunus × fontanesiana (Spach) Schneid.

Modern name

Prunus × fontanesiana (Spach) C.K.Schneid.


Cerasus fontanesiana Spach; P. graeca Steud.

A deciduous, quick-growing tree 40 ft or more high; young shoots covered with shaggy down. Leaves ovate to oval, sometimes heart-shaped, 3 to 5 in. long, 112 to 212 in. wide, doubly round-toothed, somewhat hairy on the midrib and veins; leaf-stalk 34 to 114 in. long, very downy, glandular. Flowers 1 in. across, white, produced during May on short, broad racemes of about five to seven, sometimes ten, flowers from the buds of the previous year’s wood, each flower on a stalk 12 to 34 in. long, the common stalk 34 to 1 in. long, downy. Fruits globular, the size of a small cherry, somewhat bitter, nearly black, very sparingly borne.

This tree was originally introduced to Paris from Greece and is believed to be a natural hybrid between P. avium and P. mahaleb. The form of the inflorescence is certainly intermediate, and the very downy shoots show P. mahaleb. The tree has much the habit of P. avium, and when in flower it is quite as beautiful as the typical form of that species, or even more so.



Other species in the genus