Prunus eremophila

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Prunus eremophila

Critically Imperiled (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Species: P. eremophila
Binomial name
Prunus eremophila
Prigge

Prunus eremophila, also known by its common name Mojave Desert plum, is a rare species of plum native to California.[1]

Distribution[edit]

The shrub is endemic to the Mojave Desert within northeastern San Bernardino County, California, where it is known only from the Vontrigger Hills and Lanfair Valley of the eastern Mojave National Preserve. [2] It occurs in desert scrub habitat.[3]

The plant was described to science only in 2001[2] or 2002 and little is known about its ecology.[4][5]

Description[edit]

Prunus eremophila is a bulky shrub with tangled, thorny branches. It can reach over 2 metres (6.6 ft) in maximum height. [2]

The deciduous leaves have toothed, pointed, oval blades up to 2 or 3 centimeters long. They are lightly hairy in texture.

It blooms in March to April.[2] The flowers occur singly or in pairs, each bearing small white petals. Either the stamens or pistils abort, leaving female or male flowers.[2]

The fruit is orange-rust[2] or a yellowish, fuzzy drupe up to 1.6 centimeters wide, with a thin, dry pulp.[2]

Conservation

The plant occurs in the Mojave National Preserve, so is protected from some human activity, but is a Critically endangered species threatened by off-road vehicles, grazing, mining, and climate change.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prunus eremophila". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mojave Desert Wildflowers, Pam Mackay, 2nd ed., p173
  3. ^ California Native Plant Society Rare Plant Profile
  4. ^ a b The Nature Conservancy
  5. ^ Prigge, B. A. (2002). A new species of Prunus (Rosaceae) from the Mojave Desert of California. Madroño 49 285–288.

External links[edit]