Prunus – Popular Shrubs and Trees for the Garden
This is a big genus containing the almonds, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, sloes and related fruits, as well as a wide range of ornamentals, principally the Japanese flowering cherries. It also includes variousplants such as laurels and myrobalan plums, some of which, like Prunus X cistena, are becoming increasingly popular for making coloured-leaf hedges.
As there are some two hundred or more prunus in cultiva-tion the choice can be somewhat bewildering. For sheer colour in spring there is nothing to beat the hybrid Japanese cherries, although they need choosing with care as some grow too large for small gardens.
For really confined spaces there is ‘Amanogawa’, in growth like a Lombardy Poplar, with fragrant, semi-double pink. Small, too, is ‘Kiku Shidare Zakura’, also known as ‘Cheal’s Weeping Cherry’, with arching shoots bearing fully double, deep pink flowers. Larger, with wide-spread branches, is ‘Kanzan’, with deep pink, double flowers, very freely borne. There are many others, in pinks pale and deep, and some good white-flowered kinds.
Prunus subhirtella autumnalis, a small tree, is popular because it produces its white, single or semi-double flowers from November onwards, particularly when the weather is mild. More shrubby in growth is Prunus triloba multiplex, a dwarf almond, which grows to about 6 feet tall, or more against a wall, and has delightful rosy-pink, ‘bachelor’s button’ flowers in March and April.
Prunus cerasifera atropurpurea (pissardii) is the Purple-leaved Plum, a decorative small tree, also used for hedging. Prunus c. nigra has darker, almost black leaves and pink flowers. An attractive bush is made by the dwarf almond, Prunus amygdalus tenella ‘Fire Hill’, which grows to 4 feet with a similar spread and in April bears many rosy-crimson flowers. All the prunus do well on chalk. Littleis required for trees and shrubs in the open but those against walls require pruning and training to keep their shape.
View: More popular shrubs