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Cherry Blossom on the Common

Cherries, Plums and Ornamentals

Our cherries and plums found on the common are all members of the Rosaceae family and belong to the 'stone fruit' genus Prunus.

Cherries: There are numerous cherry trees on the common, bordering on becoming invasive in some areas.  They certainly ‘grow wild’, but I doubt many are a true wild cherry (P. avium), since that fruit should be black or dark red with little flesh.

Cherry wood has a rich red colour and fine grain, making it popular for furniture, wood carving and turning.  There is surprisingly little folklore, except in Japan where it is the national tree and often planted as a memorial.  In Europe, it was thought to have useful medicinal properties: easing coughs, promoting good complexion and eye-sight, and breaking up gallstones.  I think we are lucky to be alive in more enlightened times.

Plums: Myrobalan Plums (P. cerasifera) are found on the Common and at Leg o’ Mutton. This is a pretty native of central Asia and Southern Europe. In this country, they tend to have quite large fruit, sue to selection as a garden species over many generations. The Myrobalan flowers and comes into leaf early, often by early March.

Tree with red berries
June berries on Amelanchier. Image: S Morgan

Ornamentals: It is worth mentioning one other member of the Rosaceae family, Amelanchier lamarckii. This garden escape is found across various parts of the Common. It is a deciduous, spreading shrub or small tree and a perfect choice for encouraging wildlife into a small garden: In spring, young leaves unfold bronze, amid a profusion of star-shaped white flowers that are a real attraction to pollinators. Summer and Autumn bring clusters of red fruits that are firm favourites for blackbirds, pigeons and other birds.  It is easy to see how it has come to be known as Juneberry.

It is fairly easily mistaken for the native rowan (mountain ash) due to the clusters of berries, although the leaves are quite different. It is the value of its berries as bird food which mean it is given more leniency than other garden escapes. However, within a local nature reserve focussing on native plants, we would not like it to be more than ‘occasional’.

M Hildesley; S Morgan. Images A Wilson unless stated. 6th July 2020. Updated June 2021.

 

Cherries, Plums and Ornamentals

Cherry Blossom on the Common

Our cherries and plums found on the common are all members of the Rosaceae family and belong to the 'stone fruit' genus Prunus.

Cherries: There are numerous cherry trees on the common, bordering on becoming invasive in some areas.  They certainly ‘grow wild’, but I doubt many are a true wild cherry (P. avium), since that fruit should be black or dark red with little flesh.

Cherry wood has a rich red colour and fine grain, making it popular for furniture, wood carving and turning.  There is surprisingly little folklore, except in Japan where it is the national tree and often planted as a memorial.  In Europe, it was thought to have useful medicinal properties: easing coughs, promoting good complexion and eye-sight, and breaking up gallstones.  I think we are lucky to be alive in more enlightened times.

Plums: Myrobalan Plums (P. cerasifera) are found on the Common and at Leg o’ Mutton. This is a pretty native of central Asia and Southern Europe. In this country, they tend to have quite large fruit, sue to selection as a garden species over many generations. The Myrobalan flowers and comes into leaf early, often by early March.

Tree with red berries
June berries on Amelanchier. Image: S Morgan

Ornamentals: It is worth mentioning one other member of the Rosaceae family, Amelanchier lamarckii. This garden escape is found across various parts of the Common. It is a deciduous, spreading shrub or small tree and a perfect choice for encouraging wildlife into a small garden: In spring, young leaves unfold bronze, amid a profusion of star-shaped white flowers that are a real attraction to pollinators. Summer and Autumn bring clusters of red fruits that are firm favourites for blackbirds, pigeons and other birds.  It is easy to see how it has come to be known as Juneberry.

It is fairly easily mistaken for the native rowan (mountain ash) due to the clusters of berries, although the leaves are quite different. It is the value of its berries as bird food which mean it is given more leniency than other garden escapes. However, within a local nature reserve focussing on native plants, we would not like it to be more than ‘occasional’.

M Hildesley; S Morgan. Images A Wilson unless stated. 6th July 2020. Updated June 2021.

 

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