Prunus pumila

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Prunus pumila
Prunus pumila, South Ste. Marys Island.JPG
Fruit in late July.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
P. pumila
Binomial name
Prunus pumila

Prunus pumila, commonly called sand cherry, is a North American species of cherry in the rose family. It is widespread in eastern and central Canada from New Brunswick west to Saskatchewan and the northern United States from Maine to Montana, south as far as Colorado, Kansas, Indiana, and Virginia, with a few isolated populations in Tennessee and Utah.[1][3] It grows in sandy locations such as shorelines and dunes.[4]

Prunus pumila is a deciduous shrub that grows to 2-6 feet tall depending on the variety.[5] It forms dense clonal colonies by sprouts from the root system. The leaves are leathery, 4–7 centimetres (1.6–2.8 in) long, with a serrated margin. The flowers are 15–25 millimetres (0.59–0.98 in) in diameter with five white petals and 25–30 stamens. They are produced in small clusters of two to four. The fruit is a small cherry 13–15 millimetres (0.51–0.59 in) diameter, ripening dark purple in early summer.[6][7][8]

  • Prunus pumila var. besseyi (Bailey) Gleason, western sand cherry (also called Rocky Mountain cherry) - Saskatchewan, Manitoba, western Ontario, south to Colorado and Kansas
  • Prunus pumila var. depressa (Pursh) Gleason, eastern sand cherry - Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick south to Pennsylvania
  • Prunus pumila var. pumila, Great Lakes sand cherry - shores of Great Lakes
  • Prunus pumila var. susquehanae (hort. ex Willd.) Jaeger, Susquehana sand cherry - from Manitoba east to Maine, south to Tennessee

Prunus × cistena (purple leaf sand cherry) is a hybrid of Prunus cerasifera (Cherry Plum) and Prunus pumila.[10] It was developed by Niels Ebbesen Hansen of South Dakota State University in 1910.[11]



  1. ^ a b c "Prunus pumila". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  2. ^ The Plant List, Prunus pumila L.
  3. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Prunus pumila Sand Cherry". Montana Field Guides.
  7. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  8. ^ a b Flora of North America, Prunus pumila Linnaeus, 1767. Sandcherry, cerisier des sables
  9. ^ United States Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service
  10. ^ Plant Facts, Prunus x cistena - Purpleleaf Sand Cherry (Rosaceae)
  11. ^ Nazareth College, Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Prunus x cistena/