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Taxon: Prunus cerasifera Ehrh.

Genus: Prunus subgenus: Prunus section: Prunus
Family: Rosaceae subfamily: Amygdaloideae tribe: Amygdaleae
Nomen number: 29860
Place of publication: Gartenkalender 4:192. 1784 (Beitr. Naturk. 4:17. 1789)
Comment: valid publication verified from original literature
Name verified on: 27-Mar-2011 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 30-Dec-2013
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Davis (DAV).
Accessions: 65 in National Plant Germplasm System.

See also subordinate taxa:

Common names:

  • cherry plum   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • myrobalan plum   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – English
  • kersiepruim   (Source: Weeds SAfr 2001 ) – Afrikaans
  • ying tao li   (Source: F ChinaEng ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • bacarinier   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – French
  • cerisette   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – French
  • mirobolan   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • prunier cerise   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • prunier myrobolan   (Source: L Noms French ed7 ) – French
  • Kirschpflaume   (Source: Zander ed17 ) – German
  • Kirschpflaumenbaum   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • Myrobalane   (Source: Zander ed14 ) – German
  • türkische Pflaume   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – German
  • ciliegio susine   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Italian
  • mirobalano   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Italian
  • abrunheiro   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • cerejeira-roxa   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • corcoduş   (Source: S. Demetrescu, p.c.) – Romanian
  • arañón   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • ciruela chabacana   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • ciruelo mirobolán   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Spanish
  • guindo   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Spanish
  • mirobolán   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • körsbärsplommon   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

Economic importance:

  • Environmental: ornamental   (fide Dict Gard)
  • Human food: fruit   (mainly for preserves fide Food Feed Crops US; Invasive Pl Spec; F ChinaEng)
  • Gene sources: graft stock relative for almond   (in complex hybrids involving almond and peach fide Theor Appl Genet 109:828. 2004)
  • Gene sources: graft stock relative for apricot   (fide Pl Breed 124:68. 2005)
  • Gene sources: graft stock relative for peach   (fide Hancock et al. 2008)
  • Gene sources: graft stock relative for plum   (fide Breed Pl Tree Crops 214. 2009)
  • Gene sources: primary genetic relative of myrobalan plum   (fide Breed Pl Tree Crops 161-231. 2009)
  • Gene sources: probable progenitor of plum   (fide Tree Genet Genomes 6:44. 2010)
  • Gene sources: progenitor of nectarine   (a hybrid with Prunus persica fide J Amer Soc Hort Sci 132:677. 2007)
  • Gene sources: progenitor of plumcot   (from crosses with Prunus armeniaca fide Breed Tree Crops 184. 2009)
  • Gene sources: research in plant biology   (fide Euphytica 166:85. 2009)
  • Gene sources: secondary genetic relative of Japanese plum   (based on records of Prunus cerasifera as a progenitor of complex hybrids with P. salicina fide Acta Hort 622:476. 2003)
  • Gene sources: secondary genetic relative of apricot   (based on hybrids with Prunus armeniaca fide Acta Hort 290:71-72. 1991)
  • Gene sources: secondary genetic relative of peach   (based on complex hybrids with Prunus persica fide J Amer Soc Hort Sci 132:677. 2007)
  • Gene sources: secondary genetic relative of plum   (based on affinities to hexaploid Prunus domestica fide Tree Genet Genomes 6:43. 2010)
  • Gene sources: tertiary genetic relative of almond   (based on genetic affinities to Prunus dulcis fide Pl Syst Evol 259:62. 2006)
  • Weed   (fide Invasive Pl Spec)

Distributional range:

    Western Asia: Afghanistan; Iran; Iraq; Turkey
    Caucasus: Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Russian Federation - Ciscaucasia, Dagestan
    Middle Asia: Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan
    China: China - Xinjiang
    Indian Subcontinent: Pakistan
    Southeastern Europe: Albania; Bulgaria; Croatia; Greece; Macedonia

    China: China
    Indian Subcontinent: India
    Australia: Australia
    New Zealand: New Zealand
    Northern Europe: United Kingdom
    Middle Europe: Czech Republic; Slovakia
    United States

  • widely cultivated


  • Afonin, A. N., S. L. Greene, N. I. Dzyubenko, & A. N. Frolov, eds. Interactive agricultural ecological atlas of Russia and neighboring countries. Economic plants and their diseases, pests and weeds (on-line resource).
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson. 2009. Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin).
  • Ali, S. I. & S. M. H. Jafri, eds. 1976–. Flora of Libya.
  • Aradhya, M. K. et al. 2004. Molecular characterization of variability and relationships among seven cultivated and selected wild species of Prunus L. using amplified fragment length polymorphism. Sci. Hort. 103:131–144.
  • Arbeloa Matute, A. et al. 2003. Successful establishment of in vitro cultures of Prunus cerasifera hybrids by embryo culture of immature fruits. Acta Hort. 616:375–378. [for use as graftstock].
  • Boonprakob, U. & D. H. Byrne. 2003. Species composition of Japanese plum founding clones as revealed by RAPD markers. Acta Hort. 622:473–476.
  • Bortiri, E. et al. 2001. Phylogeny and systematics of Prunus (Rosaceae) as determined by sequence analysis of ITS and the chloroplast trnL-trnF spacer DNA. Syst. Bot. 26:797–807.
  • Bortiri, E. et al. 2006. Phylogenetic analysis of morphology in Prunus reveals extensive homoplasy. Pl. Syst. Evol. 259:53–71.
  • Bouhadida, M. et al. 2007. Chloroplast DNA diversity in Prunus and its implication on genetic relationships. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 132:670–679. [this study included a series of simple and complex hybrids involving Prunus cerasifera used as graft stock].
  • Chin, S.-W. et al. 2014. Diversification of almonds, peaches, plums and cherries - Molecular systematics and biogeographic history of Prunus (Rosaceae). Molec. Phylogenet. Evol. 76:34–48.
  • Cici, S. Z. H. & R. C. Van Acker. 2010. Gene flow in Prunus species in the context of novel trait risk assessment. Environm. Biosafety Res. 9:75–85. [it reviewed and examined published data to evaluate unassisted gene flow between wild and domesticated Prunus species; it cited Prunus cerasifera successful hybridization with wild species, and viable seedlings in crosses with P. salicina, but also commenting on the need for considering flowering synchrony and environmental conditions for evaluating the "potential gene flow from GM plum to other compatible Prunus species"].
  • Clapham, A. R. et al. 1962. Flora of the British Isles ed. 2.
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India. 1948–1976. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products. Raw materials. Delhi.
  • Czerepanov, S. K. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR). [with two subspecies].
  • Demetrescu, S. 2006. pers. comm. [re. common names].
  • Demilly, D. et al. 2001. Liste alphabétique des principales espèces de plantes cultivées et de mauvaises herbes. Noms latins et noms français, ed. 7.
  • Depypere, L. et al. 2009. A combined morphometric and AFLP based diversity study challenges the taxonomy of the European members of the complex Prunus L. section Prunus. Pl. Syst. Evol. 279:219–231.
  • Dirlewanger, E. et al. 2004. Microsatellite genetic linkage maps of myrobalan plum and an almond-peach hybrids-location of root-knot nematode resistance genes. Theor. Appl. Genet. 109:827–838.
  • Encke, F. et al. 1984. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage.
  • Encke, F. et al. 1993. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 14. Auflage.
  • Erhardt, W. et al. 2002. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 17. Auflage.
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee. Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource).
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. [re. Brazilian common names].
  • Hancock, J. F. et al. 2008. Chapter 9. Peaches. Pp. 265–298 in: Hancock, J. F., ed., Temperate fruit crop breeding: germplasm to genomics.
  • Hanelt, P., ed. 2001. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6. 1:516–518.
  • Hara, H. et al. 1978–1982. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal.
  • Hartmann, W. & M. Neumüller. 2009. Plum breeding. Pp. 161–231 in: Jain, S. M. & P.M. Priyadarshan, eds., Breeding plantation tree crops: temperate species.
  • Henderson, L. 2001. Alien weeds and invasive plants: a complete guide to declared weeds and invaders in South Africa. Plant Protection Research Institute, Handbook 12.
  • Hickman, J. C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: higher plants of California. [cultivated].
  • Horvath, A. et al. 2011. Phenotypic variability and genetic structure in plum (Prunus domestica L.), cherry plum (P. cerasifera Ehrh.) and sloe (P. spinosa L.). Sci. Hort. 129:283–293.
  • Huxley, A., ed. 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening.
  • Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland.
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. 1934–1964. Flora SSSR. [mentions].
  • Krüssmann, G. 1984. Manual of cultivated broad-leaved trees and shrubs (English translation of Handbuch der Laubgehölze. 1976).
  • Kunkel, G. 1984. Plants for human consumption.
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  • Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research. Ngā Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand plants (on-line resource).
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2.
  • Mehlenbacher, S. A. et al. 1991. Apricots (Prunus). Acta Hort. 290:65–110. [it discusses Prunus × dasycarpa, a natural occurring hybrid between P. cerasifera and P. armeniaca].
  • Mowrey, B. D. & D. J. Werner. 1990. Phylogenetic relationships among species of Prunus as inferred by isozyme markers. Theor. Appl. Genet. 80:129–133.
  • Nielsen, J. & D. C. Olrik. 2001. A morphometric analysis of Prunus spinosa, P. domestica ssp. insititia, and their putative hybrids in Denmark. Nordic J. Bot. 21:349–363. [cites Prunus cerasifera as a commonly reported diploid, but also "tri-, tetra-, and hexaploids have been observed", it mentioned the possibility of natural hybridization between Prunus spinosa and P. cerasifera].
  • Okie, W. R. & J. F. Hancock. 2008. Chapter 11. Plums. Pp. 337–357 in: Hancock, J. F., ed., Temperate fruit crop breeding: germplasm to genomics.
  • Pandey, A. et al. 2008. Genetic resources of Prunus (Rosaceae) in India. Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 55:91–104. [cultivated; this review cited varieties cerasifera and pissardii].
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  • Reales, A. et al. 2010. Phylogenetics of Eurasian plums, Prunus L. section Prunus (Rosaceae), according to coding and non-coding chloroplast DNA sequences. Tree Genet. Genomes 6:37–45.
  • Rechinger, K. H., ed. 1963–. Flora iranica.
  • Rehm, S. & G. Espig. 1991. The cultivated plants of the tropics and subtropics.
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants.
  • Rubio, M. et al. 2005. Evaluation of resistance to sharka (plum pox virus) of several Prunus rootstocks. Pl. Breed. (New York) 124:67–70.
  • Shaw, J. & R. L. Small. 2004. Addressing the "hardest puzzle in American pomology:" Phylogeny of Prunus sect. Prunocerasus (Rosaceae) based on seven noncoding chloroplast DNA regions. Amer. J. Bot. 91:985–996.
  • Stewart, R. 1972. An annotated catalogue of the vascular plants of West Pakistan and Kashmir.
  • Sutherland, B. G. et al. 2009. The myrobalan (Prunus cerasifera L.): a useful diploid model for studying the molecular genetics of self-incompatibility in plums. Euphytica 166:385–398.
  • Townsend, C. C. & E. Guest. 1966–. Flora of Iraq.
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. 1964–1980. Flora europaea.
  • Ugurtan Yilmaz, K. et al. 2009. Genetic relatedness in Prunus genus revealed by inter-simple sequence repeat markers. HortScience 44:293–297.
  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds.
  • Willis, J. H. 1970–1972. A handbook to plants in Victoria.
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994–. Flora of China (English edition).


Check other web resources for Prunus cerasifera Ehrh.:

  • Flora Europaea: Database of European Plants (ESFEDS)
  • PLANTS: USDA-NRCS Database of Plants of the United States and its Territories
  • BONAP: North American Plant Atlas of the Biota of North America Program
  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • AVH: Australia's Virtual Herbarium
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ICRA: International Cultivar Registration Authority (on-line resource). for Prunus cerasifera cultivars
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Fruit: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image
  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (27 November 2015)

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