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Prunus cerasus caproniana - Kentish Red Cherry

Family:Rosaceae
Habit:Tree
Height:9
Synonyms:P. caproniana.
Range:S.E. Europe to W. Asia.
Prunus cerasus caproniana (Kentish Red Cherry) is a Tree which grows to a height of 9m . It has a hardness rating of 3.
Kentish Red Cherry will flower in November. the seeds ripen from January
The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by Bees

Soil Information

Kentish Red Cherry will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy),hard (clay) soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.
The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :
- pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
- pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
- pH greater than 8, Basic soils
Kentish Red Cherry prefers moist soils

Ideal Planting Locations

Kentish Red Cherry can grow in semi or areas with no shade.

Not known in the wild[11].

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

Cultivation Details

Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil[11, 200]. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Prefers an acid soil according to another report[5]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[11, 200]. Hardy to about -20c[184]. This subspecies covers the cultivated bitter cherries known as Amarelle cherries - this includes those forms grown in Britain as Kentish Red cherries[11]. They have been long cultivated for their edible fruit and there are several named varieties[200]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[238]. Plants produce suckers freely[184]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].

Edible Uses*

* See disclaimer
Edible Rating: 3/5
Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 5, 11, 12]. Neither bitter nor sweet, the fruit is pleasantly acid and can be eaten out of hand, used in pies, preserves etc or dried for later use[183]. The juice is colourless[11]. The fruit is about 18mm in diameter and contains one large seed[200]. Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[46, 61]. When refined it is used as a salad oil[183]. The leaves are used as a tea substitute[46, 61, 183]. A gum obtained from the trunk is used for chewing[61, 64].

Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer
Medicinal Rating: 1/5
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being[238].

Propagation

Seed - requires 2 - 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[200]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[200]. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate[113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame[113]. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring. Division of suckers during the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Known Hazards

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Other Uses

An edible drying oil obtained from the seed is also used in cosmetics[61]. The gum obtained from the stem is also used as an adhesive[61, 64]. Plants can be grown as a hedge[50], succeeding in fairly exposed positions[K]. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[168].

Cultivars

'' - No entries have been made for this species as yet.

References

Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Bean. W.
Author: Bean. W.
Rating:
Publisher : A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
Date of Publication : 1981

The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Huxley. A.
Author: Huxley. A.
Rating:
Publisher : Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
Date of Publication : 1992

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