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Prinsepia utilis - Royle.

Common Name Cherry prinsepia
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forest, scrub and hedges, 1200 - 2700 metres[51]. Usually found in sunny open places on dry hillsides near any spring or water-course[146, 158].
Range E. Asia - Himalayas from Pakistan to W. China.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Prinsepia utilis Cherry prinsepia

Prinsepia utilis Cherry prinsepia


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Prinsepia utilis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft) by 3 m (9ft). It is in flower in February, and the seeds ripen in June. 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.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map



Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil  Oil
Edible Uses: Oil  Oil

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 177, 183]. Liked by children[272]. Sloe-like[146], it has rather an astringent flavour[K]. The fruit is up to 17mm long and contains a single large seed[K]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[2, 51, 105, 146]. It is used in cooking[183, 272].

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.
Eczema  Miscellany  Rubefacient  Skin

An oil from the seed is rubefacient[240]. It is applied externally as a treatment for rheumatism and muscular pain caused by hard work[240]. The oil is also applied to the forehead and temples in the treatment of coughs and colds[272]. The heated oilcake is applied as a poultice to the abdomen in the treatment of stomachaches[272]. A paste of this seedcake is used as a poultice to treat ringworm or eczema[272]. The fruit is used in Chinese medicine[129]. We have no more details.

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Miscellany  Oil  Oil  Paint  Soil stabilization  Wood

The seed contains 21% of a fatty oil[240]. As well as being edible, it can also be used for lighting[2, 146, 158, 272]. The oilcake is used for washing clothes[272]. A deep purple colour btained from the fruits is used for painting windows and walls[272]. Plants are grown as a hedge in the Himalayas[1, 272]. Plants have an extensive root system and are used for binding the soil[272]. Wood - very hard, compact, very liable to split[158].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Hedge  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Oil

Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in full sun or light shade[200]. Requires a light not too fertile soil[11]. Plants are hardy to about -10°c[184]. The plants produce flowers and fruits better when they are growing in full sun[200]. Flowers are produced on the previous seasons wood[200] and can be produced in the autumn as well as the spring. The flowers are produced on the current years wood according to another report[182]. Autumn flowers can produce ripe fruit in the following spring. Unfortunately, the plants only produce fruit in Britain after long hot summers[200].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Simply managed rows of shrubs and trees.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Oil  (0-15 percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Some of these are consumed whole while others are exclusively pressed for oil. Annuals include canola, poppyseed, maize, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut. Perennials include high-oil fruits, seeds, and nuts, such as olive, coconut, avocado, oil palm, shea, pecan, and macadamia. Some perennial oil crops are consumed whole as fruits and nuts, while others are exclusively pressed for oil (and some are used fresh and for oil).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Seed - best if given 2 months cold stratification[113]. Sow the seed in autumn if possible, otherwise in late winter or early spring in a cold frame in light shade. Germination may be inhibited by light[113]. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle into individual pots. 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, July/August in a frame[113].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

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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 :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Prinsepia sinensisCherry prinsepiaShrub1.8 4-8 MLMHSNM20 
Prinsepia unifloraRui RenShrub1.8 4-8  LMHSNM20 

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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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Leo Aerts   Thu Feb 12 2009

Seems to be a real nice shrub for my little jungle here in Flanders. So here I start searching for seeds. Is there anybody who can help? Of course, cuttings would even be better. Best greetings, Gaardenier Mortsel

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