Prunus besseyi (syn. Prunus pumila var. besseyi) Rosaceae
Sand Cherry, Western Sand Cherry PROO-nus BES-se-i
- Deciduous shrub, suckering, spreading, to 4-6 ft (1.2-1.6 m) tall and wide. Leaves alternate, simple, oval, oval-lanceolate, occasionally obovate, 4.5-6.5 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, narrower on fruiting branches, margin finely serrate, tip acute, base often wedge-shaped, upper surface dark to gray-green. Flowers white, appear with leaves, about 15 mm across, 5 petals, 25-30 stamens. Fruit globose to ovoid, about 15 mm, purplish-black, glossy; edible, used for pies, jellies and jams.
- Sun to part shade. Tolerates cold, heat, wind, and drought.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native range from Manitoba to Wyoming and Colorado, east to Minnesota and Kansas.
- In the botanical literature this plant is more commonly listed as one of thee varieties (var.) of
Prunus pumila, Sand Cherry, that is Prunus pumila var. besseyi, Western Sand Cherry.
The other varieties are P. p. var. pumila, Great Lakes Sandcherry, and
P. p. var. susquehanae, Susquehana Sand Cherry.
- besseyi: after Charles E. Bessey (1845-1915), American botanist, considered one of the great developers of botanical education in the U.S.