Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa)

nanking cherry (36589 bytes) Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa) can be grown as a large, wide-spreading shrub or pruned as a small tree. It is native to northern China and Japan. Hardy to zone 3, it will grow to 8 feet in height and width.6-8ft x 6-8ft. This cherry is very cold hardy, withstands winds, has low water needs and is fairly drought tolerant. It will grow in shade but blooms better when grown in full sun to partial shade. This plant has good tolerance for alkaline soils. Soil should be well-drained.   Cross pollination is needed to produce fruit. No serious pest problems have been noted in this plant.
nanking cherry foliage (6012 bytes) Foliage consist of dark-green alternate, simple leaves. They are 2 to 3 inches long, elliptical and toothed.
nanking cherry blossom (7105 bytes) Flowers are single, pinkish-white and cover the plant briefly in early spring. The plant usually blooms within 2 to 3 years of being planted.
nanking cherry fruit (9697 bytes) Fruit is an edible red berry, -inch in diameter. These tart berries are good for making jams and jellies. Popular with robins, finches, cedar waxwings and other wild birds. The pit is large.
nanking cherry bark (6981 bytes) Bark on younger branches is exfoliating, but turns rough and black on older stems

Photos: Judy Sedbrook

Photo of Nanking Cherry fruit: USDA

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010