Sweet Spring Blooms and Tart Summer Fruit!
Nanking Cherry, Prunus tomentosa, has showy white flowers with a pink blush which covers the plant in early spring. This is followed by tasty, edible, bright red fruit, great for jams and jelly. These 1/2" bright red fruit, which ripen in early July, are edible but a little tart for fresh eating.
Nanking Cherry is a large wide spreading shrub and can be pruned as a small tree. It grows 8-10 feet in height and 10-15 feet wide.
It is a great conservation plant with attractive soft green foliage. The plant works well as a mass planting or informal hedge.
Nanking Cherry is native to northern China and is very cold hardy. It requires a good, well-drained soil. Nanking Cherry is fairly drought tolerant and does best in full sun. It needs cross pollination to produce fruit, so purchase 2 Nanking’s to be sure of pollination.
* Profusion of White Flowers in Spring
* Abundant 1/2" Brilliant Red Fruit
* Wide Shrub or Small Tree
Historical, Beautiful, Nutritious Sour Cherry Selection
The Nanking Cherry may be one of the most diverse fruiting plants known. This is a true edible ornamental that has been cultivated for 1000's of years throughout eastern Asia. It combines the fine qualities of a beautiful flowering shrub and tremendously healthy fruit - all growing on a plant that will withstand some of the harshest climates known.
The Nanking Cherry, also known as Prunus tomentosa, is a native sour cherry variety found in China, Korea, Mongolia, and surrounding areas. Although typically classified with the sour cherries, the Nanking Cherry has good sweetness and rarely is too sour to eat fresh.
Nanking Cherry comes true from seed, so there can be a little difference in flavor or hardiness depending on where the mother plant originated. Used in Asia primarily for the abundant flower and the nutritious fruit, the plant's dependable fruit production made it a staple in the Asian diet.
Though the Nanking Cherry looks like a cherry, it is actually closer related to a plum. Because of this, P. tomentosa has been used as a dwarfing rootstock for peaches, plums, and some cherries for many years. Although, more recent research has determined that the Nanking Cherry should only be used for dwarfing certain selections, due to a shorter tree life and lesser production issues.
Introduced into the United States in 1892 by the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, the Nanking Cherry's many qualities were quickly recognized. Most obvious was the hardiness of the plant, which drew the attention of cold climate growers across the nation. The plant was particularly adapted to the upper Midwest's cold winters and hot dry summers.
By 1935, it was considered a potential commercial crop for these regions with cultivars being introduced from the University of Minnesota. This never materialized, and the developed cultivars have all been lost.
However, the Nanking Cherry's popularity in the home garden market grew tremendously. The plants great adaptability to USDA Zones 2 - 7, and the ability to tolerate drought conditions, were key to the variety's popularity. The edible and ornamental aspects of this tree only add to the demand.
Little maintenance is required to establish this plant as a hedge or windbreak. A wonderful, fragrant spring flower display followed by the early fruit set adds to the home garden value.
Nanking Cherry is a nutritious fruit high in Vitamin C and antioxidants. The fruit is best eaten fresh but is also used to make jams and juices. The Nanking Cherry has also been a popular tree among the Bonsai community in Japan and is becoming popular with Bonsai enthusiasts in the United States today.
|Brand||Nature Hills Nursery|
|Botanical Name||Prunus tomentosa|
|Mature Height||8 - 10 feet|
|Mature Spread||10 - 15 feet|
|Soil Type||Widely Adaptable|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|