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Prunus nigra - Aiton.

Common Name Canadian Plum
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
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 Thickets, stream banks and woodland edges[43], in alluvial soils of river valleys and on limestone hills[82].
Range Eastern N. America - New Brunswick to Manitoba, south to Iowa, Ohio and Connecticut.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Prunus nigra Canadian Plum


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canadian_Plum,_Prunus_nigra.jpg
Prunus nigra Canadian Plum
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.

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Prunus nigra is a deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft 6in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from August to September. 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: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

P. americana var. nigra (Aiton) Waugh is a synonym of P. nigra Aiton

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Seed
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[82, 159]. It can be eaten out of hand, used in pies, preserves etc, or can be dried for later use[171, 183, 226, 257]. The fruit is small and not very palatable[171]. A sour flavour with a thick skin[229], though the flavour is improved tremendously if the fruit is harvested after being touched by a few frosts[226]. The fruit is about 3cm in diameter and contains one large seed[200]. Seed - raw or cooked. The seed contains prussic acid and there have been cases recorded of children dying after eating fruits without removing the stones[226]. See the notes above on toxicity.

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.
Pectoral  Stomachic

An infusion of the inner bark has been used in the treatment of colds[257]. An infusion of the bark has been used to settle the stomach when it will not retain food[257]. 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].

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Other Uses

Dye  Mordant  Wood

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[168]. The inner bark has been used as an astringent colour fixative in dyeing with other plants[257]. Wood - hard, moderately heavy, close grained[82, 229]. It weighs 43lb per cubic foot[235]. The tree is too small to be used commercially[229].

Special Uses

Food Forest

Cultivation details

Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, growing well on limestone[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]. Sometimes cultivated as a fruit tree in Canada and America, there are some named varieties that have been selected for their edible fruit[82]. This species is closely related to P. americana[11]. A bad companion for potatoes, the plum tree harbours aphids that can damage the potatoes[229]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[238]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Prunus americana var. nigra (Aiton) Waugh is a synonym of Prunus nigra Aiton. It may also be recorded as Prunus americana nigra. 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 sprouting standard sending up shoots from the base [1-2]. The root pattern is suckering with new plants from underground runners away from the plant [1-2].

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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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Aiton.

Botanical References

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Readers comment

Ralph C. Frese   Wed Apr 16 02:16:42 2003

April 15,2003-I have a specimen in my garden getting ready to bloom. It is manificent in full bloom with flowers about 1 1/2" in diameter. It is a wildling and has grown to about 25 feet tall gathered from local woods. Would like to proprogate more and reforest more of our woodlands with them. They seem to be rather scarce here around Chicago.

Myson Burrell Efffa   Mon Apr 4 20:47:53 2005

The Prunus Americana is red to dark red orange fruit slightly heart shaped. Negis is unique as being baclk (not blue) & cylinderical shaped with rounded ends, as aposed to common plum egg shapes. I last saw them in Oliver BC in early '80's.I'm 4th a generation British Columbian Orchardist:Myson Burrell Effa myson-whistler@gotomy.com.I'd like to get some larger fruit trees please pass my name on.

   Jul 25 2017 12:00AM

Till the late 1970's it was still a major crop from the Niagra, Ontario & Okanagan Region of British Columbia, Canada. Unpattened hertitage fruit tree was removed & Federal Agricultural Officers urgings - to be replaced by various patentened Burbank clones. Irronicaly none grown commercially in Canada now.

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