Plums and cherries are trees or shrubs with deciduous leaves, which are edged with small, sharp teeth, usually bearing conspicuous glands either along the edge of the blade near the leaf stalk or on the leaf stalk itself. The flowers are arranged in terminal elongated clusters, corymbs, or umbels, or are solitary on short spur shoots. They are complete, with the parts attached on a disk surrounding the ovary. The calyx is top-shaped to bell-shaped, the elongated floral axis below the calyx about equal to the 5 lobes, and is soon withered near the base shortly after flowering time. The 5 petals are white to pink or red. There are 20-30 stamens, the filaments slender, protruding outside the other parts. The single pistil is simple, the ovary borne at the base of the elongated floral axis below the calyx, containing 2 drooping ovules. The style is terminal, the stigma disk-shaped. The fruit is a 1- (rarely 2-) seeded drupe with usually a fleshy and juicy outer part. The genus consists of perhaps 200 species of temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and the Andes of S. America. The name is the ancient Latin name for the plum.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of Genus Prunus
FLOWERS IN ELONGATED CLUSTERS
P. virginiana Choke Cherry Shrub or small tree 1-4 m tall. Fruits are cherries, red to purple or black.
Flowers white, 10-12 mm wide, in dense, elongated clusters. Petals 5, round.
Leaves alternate, elliptic, finely sharp-toothed, 4-10 cm long, pointed at tips.