Nanjing Cherry
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Nanjing Cherry
D Naturalized Photo: Akhtar Malik
Common name: Nanjing Cherry, Korean cherry, Manchu cherry, Downy cherry, Shanghai cherry, Ando cherry, Mountain cherry, Chinese bush cherry
Botanical name: Prunus tomentosa    Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Synonyms: Cerasus tomentosa, Prunus trichocarpa

Nanjing Cherry is a deciduous shrub, irregular in shape, 0.3-3 m high and possibly somewhat wider. The bark is hairless and copper-tinted black. Leaves are alternate, 2-7 cm long and 1-3.5 cm broad, oval to obovate, tapering with irregularly sawtoothed margins, rugose, dark green, velvet-hairy above and woolly below, with glandular leaf-stalks. Flowers are white or pink in a scarlet sepal-cup, opening with or before the leaves in spring. They are arranged in clusters on scarlet flower-stalks and are 1.5-2.0 cm across. The fruit is a sweet but slightly tart drupe 5-12 mm in diameter, scarlet, ripening in early summer, with a large seed. Though often called a "cherry" and superficially resembling them, Nanking cherry is closer related to plums than true cherries. Nanjing Cherry is native to Tibet to China, cultivated elsewhere.

Identification credit: Akhtar Malik Photographed in Kashmir.

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