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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 9 | Rosaceae | Prunus

26c. Prunus pumila Linnaeus var. depressa (Pursh) Bean, Trees Shrubs Brit. Isles. 2: 249. 1914.

Prostrate or eastern sandcherry, cerisier déprimé

Prunus depressa Pursh, Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 332. 1813

Stems prostrate to decumbent, 1–5 dm; twigs glabrous. Leaf blades oblanceolate, 3.9–7.5 × 1–2(–2.3) cm, lengths ca. 3.7 times widths, base long-attenuate, apex obtuse to acute. Drupes broadly ellipsoid, 6–10 × 3–7 mm; stones ovoid to fusiform, 6–8.5 × 4.5–5 mm.

Flowering May–Jun; fruiting Aug. Rocky, gravelly, or sandy shores or bars of streams and lakes; 10–200 m; N.B., Ont., Que.; Maine, Mass., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Pa., Vt.

Variety depressa always has prostrate to decumbent stems, and the plants form mats on the rocky or sandy substrate along streams in eastern North America. All of the other varieties sometimes have decumbent stems; specimens are sometimes misidentified as var. depressa, but nearly always some of the stems on these plants are ascending or erect. Stems of vars. besseyi and pumila are often partially buried in shifting sands on the dunes in the sandhills of Nebraska and on the dunes along the shores of the Great Lakes.


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