Prunus is a large genus of more than 400 species of flowering trees and shrubs in the family Rosaceae, spread throughout the Northern hemisphere.
Most species in this genus have simple, usually toothed leaves and beautiful five-petaled flowers in various colors. Prunus species can offer not only a beautiful flowers, but also drupes as fruits, known as stone fruits. The genus contains many fruit tree species of global economic importance. They are mostly deciduous trees known by their common names such as: plum trees, cherry trees, peach trees, apricot trees, almond trees, and collectively as the stone fruit trees.
The genus name is derived from the Latin “prunus”, which means “plum tree”.
Prunus represents a hope of the spring.
It is also a symbol of endurance.
Interesting facts about Prunus:
When we talk about Prunus, the first thing we think of is Cherry blossom.
Cherry blossoms are the flowers of several different types of trees belonging to the Prunus genus. The most popular species are “Prunus serrulata” (also known as “Sakura”) and “Prunus x yedoensis”, one of the most popular natural hybrids.
The Cherry blossom is one of the most recognizable symbol of Japan and also an unofficial symbol of the country.
It is the ultimate sign of spring and the coming of new life. Cherry blossoms are celebrated in Japanese art, poetry and songs. They are an iconic feature of the Japanese springtime landscape and it’s impossible to think of springtime Japan without them. They are so popular that festivals are celebrated in its honor.
Since the early 20th century, the Cherry blossom trees were given as a diplomatic gift to other countries. In 1912, Japan sent over 5000 Cherry blossom trees to the U.S. capital to symbolize the friendship between the two sides. Since then, the Cherry blossoms are also an integral part of the history of Washington, D.C.
It’s worth to mention that there is a controversy over the origin of Cherry blossom trees.
In past years, China has joined the controversy claiming that Cherry blossom trees originated from the Himalayan region in what is today China. Besides that, there has been claims that the Cherry Blossoms were originated not in China or Japan, but in Korea. Korea claims that Cherry blossoms originate from Korea, and that the Japanese only told the US that they came from Japan because Korea was under their colonial rule at the time. Unfortunately, Cherry blossoms have not been immune from political bashing.
Benefits and Uses
The genus Prunus has many economically important species, such as the cultivated plum, peach, cherry, almond and apricot.
They are popular because they produce an edible and delicious stone fruits. Stone fruits, also called drupes, are cultivated all over the world, occupying an area of 5 million ha.
Many species are grown as ornamentals.
Prunus flowers comes in shades of white, pink, purple and red.
Spring, Autumn, Winter, Summer
The species range in height from 1,5 metres to 12 metres (5 to 40 ft) tall.
Prunus likes moist and well drained soil that is acidic, neutral or alkaline.