Himalayan Bird Cherry
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Himalayan Bird Cherry
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Himalayan Bird Cherry • Nepali: लेक आरु Lek Aaru, आरु पाते Aaru Paate
Botanical name: Prunus cornuta    Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Synonyms: Padus cornuta, Cerasus cornuta

Himalayan Bird Cherry is a deciduous medium sized tree with grey brown to brown bark. Leaves are oblong to lance-shaped, 8-15 cm long, long-pointed, with finely toothed margin. Small white flowers are borne in long drooping clusters, 10-15 cm long. Flowers are up to 1 cm across, with round petals and blunt sepals. Fruits are round cherries, about 8 mm, in a long raceme, initially red, maturing to dark-purple and black. The fruit often gets infected by an insect, and becomes long and horn-like, from which comes its species name cornuta, meaning horn-like. The fruit is edible, and the leaves are used for fodder. Himalayan Bird Cherry is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to SW China and Burma, at altitudes of 2100-3500. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Nongthombam Ullysess Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand & Sonmarg, Kashmir.

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