Prunus pumila var. besseyi
Prunus pumila L. var. besseyi (L.H. Bailey) Gleason
Sand cherry, Western sandcherry
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Synonym(s): Cerasus pumila ssp. besseyi, Prunus besseyi, Prunus pumila ssp. besseyi
USDA Symbol: prpub
Sand cherry is a suckering, spreading, deciduous shrub, 4-6 ft. high and wide. Its gray-green leaves provide a different foliage color than most Prunus species. Pure white, 1/2 in. diameter flowers give way to sweet, purplish-black fruits in July and Aug.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AR , CO , IA , KS , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , OR , SD , UT , WY
Canada: ON , SK
Native Distribution: W. MN to MT, s. to IA, n.c. KS & n.e. CO
Native Habitat: Sandy prairies; woodland edges; stream valleys; roadsides
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Tolerates inhospitable, hot and dry conditions.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Birds and other wildlife eat the fruit.
Warning: The seeds of all Prunus species, found inside the fruits, contain poisonous substances and should never be eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Prunus species may be rooted from dormant hardwood, softwood, semi-hardwood, or root cuttings. Semi-hardwood and softwood cuttings taken in summer root easiest. Germination of most seeds requires cold stratification. Some species need a period of after
Seed Collection: Collect fruit when it is filled out, firm, and its ripe color. Clean seeds from pulp and briefly air dry. (Seeds to be sown immediately in fall do not need drying.) Storage viability is maintained at 31-41 degrees.
Seed Treatment: For spring sowing, stratify seeds in moist sand for 30-60 days in a greenhouse, then cold stratify (36-41 degrees) for 60-90 days. Plant well before high temperatures.
Commercially Avail: yes
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Prunus pumila var. besseyi in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Prunus pumila var. besseyi in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Prunus pumila var. besseyi
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff