Cherry Plum - Prunus cerasifera
Family - Rosaceae
Also known as - Myrobalan plum.
Native to Europe and Asia, a large shrub or small tree to 4-10m (13-30ft) tall, with deciduous alternate leaves between 4-6cm (1.5-2.5in) long. It can be one of the first trees to flower in spring, sometimes even in mid February, with white to pink flowers of five petals about 2cm (1in) in diameter. Edible fruits although some are better for jam, from July to September are a drupe 2-4cm (0.8-1.5in) in diameter, almost spherical and looking rather like a cherry, in varying colours from yellow through orange to deep red. Often found in the wild as a cultivation escapee. A popular ornamental tree used for its early flowering habit. Prefers well drained acidic soil in full sun. Brickfields Country Park would appear to have two variants of the Cherry Plum, one is a very new bush possibly only about five years old with only a few fruits on it, we presume it was brought into the park by foraging animals or a member of the public discarding a stone from fruit they were eating. The other is a large tree, typically 6.5-7m tall (20-25ft) with orange fruit gradually ripening to bright red. Fruit from this tree is used to make our popular Cherry Plum jam. We believe it was planted as a specimen tree when the park was set up.
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