Description from Flora of China
Trees or shrubs, deciduous. Branchlets sometimes spine-tipped. Axillary winter bud solitary, ovoid; terminal winter bud absent. Stipules membranous, soon caducous. Leaves simple, alternate, convolute [or conduplicate] when young; petiolate or sessile; petiole apex or base of leaf blade margin with or without nectaries; leaf blade margin variously crenate or coarsely serrate. Inflorescences apparently axillary, solitary or to 3-flowered in a fascicle; bracts small, soon caducous. Flowers opening before or at same time as leaves. Hypanthium campanulate. Sepals 5, imbricate. Petals 5, white, sometimes purple-veined, rarely greenish, inserted on rim of hypanthium, imbricate. Stamens 20–30, in 2 whorls; filaments unequal. Carpel 1; ovary superior, 1-loculed, glabrous or sometimes villous; ovules 2, collateral, pendulous. Style terminal, elongated. Fruit a drupe, glabrous, often glaucous, usually with a longitudinal groove; mesocarp fleshy, not splitting when ripe; endocarp laterally compressed, smooth, rarely grooved or rugose.
Many plum species are cultivated for their edible fruit and some for their flowers.
The following taxa have been described from China, but we have seen no specimens and are therefore unable to assign them to genus or treat them in this account. Further revision is necessary.
Prunus consociiflora C. K. Schneider (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 1: 54. 1905), described from Hubei: A. Henry 1309.
Prunus japonica Thunberg var. fukienensis Rehder (J. Arnold Arbor. 3: 29. 1922), described from Fujian: P. T. Dunn s.n.
Prunus kawakamii Hayata (J. Coll. Agric. Imp. Univ. Tokyo 25: 77. 1908), described from Taiwan: T. Kawakami & U. Mori s.n.
Prunus nubium Handel-Mazzetti (Symb. Sin. 7: 530. 1933), described from Hunan: T. H. Wang 1.
Prunus platysepala Koehne (in Sargent, Pl. Wilson. 1: 277. 1912), described from Hubei: E. H. Wilson 2813.
Prunus salicina Lindley var. cordata Y. He & J. Y. Zhang (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 9(3): 71. 1989), described from Fujian: J. Y. Zhang et al. A10803.
About 30 species: Asia, Europe, North America; seven species (two endemic, three introduced) in China.
(Authors: Gu Cuizhi (Ku Tsue-chih); Bruce Bartholomew)