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Prunus angustifolia - Marshall.

Common Name Chickasaw Plum, Watson's plum, Hally Jolivette Cherry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. 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 Usually found in sandy soils, occurring along fence rows, in pastures, fields, stream banks, sand dunes and disturbed sites, often forming thickets[229].
Range South-eastern N. America - New York to Florida, west to Texas.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Prunus angustifolia Chickasaw Plum, Watson


USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 2: 323.
Prunus angustifolia Chickasaw Plum, Watson
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Summary

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


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Prunus angustifolia is a deciduous Tree growing to 3 m (9ft 10in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

P. chicasa.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Seed
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use[82, 149, 274]. Large and thin-skinned with a soft juicy sweet pulp, it has a dlicious flavour and is very good eaten out of hand, whilst it can also be used in pies, preserves etc[183, 274]. The fruit is up to 18mm in diameter[227]. Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity.

References   More on Edible Uses

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.


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].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Dye  Shelterbelt  Soil stabilization  Wood

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[168]. This species is sometimes used in shelterbelt planting[227]. It has an extensive root system and often forms thickets, which make it useful for erosion control[229]. Wood - heavy, rather soft, not strong[82]. It weighs 43lb per cubic foot[227] and is of little commercial value[229].

Special Uses

Espalier  Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Espalier, Standard, Specimen. Thrives in 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]. Although it should be hardy in all parts of Britain, it grows better in the warmer areas of the country[11]. A fast-growing but short-lived tree in the wild[229], it has become rather rare in a truly wild state[227], though it is often cultivated for its edible fruit in N. America. There are some named varieties[82, 183]. The fruit is not freely produced in British gardens[11]. The flowers, which appear just before the leaves unfold, have a refreshing fruity scent[245]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[238]. This species suckers freely in the wild, often forming thickets[82]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Special Features: North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Attracts butterflies, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. A clumping plant, forming a colony from shoots away from the crown but with a limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is suckering with new plants from underground runners away from the plant [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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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[11, 200]. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame[200]. Layering in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

Marshall.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

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Readers comment

Dan Culbertson   Sun Dec 13 2009

I have a "Guthrie" Chickasaw Plum which is a selection with a single trunk habit rather than the thicket habit of the species. It has a nice sweet yellow fruit about the size of a golf ball. The seeds have sprouted quite well for me in just a few months in damp moss.

One of the few commercial sources of both Bruce and Guthrie select varieties of Chickasaw plum.   Feb 22 2011 12:00AM

Along with "Guthrie" another nice named variety is "Bruce" but it is apparently a Chickasaw/Japanese plum hybrid and possibly needs more chill hours than the species. Guthrie may also be a hybrid but apparently an accidental one. It seems like wild Chickasaw plums could be a good source for creating hybrid plums that grow on their own roots.
Just Fruits and Exotics

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