Prunus mahaleb L.
Prunus mahaleb, commonly known as Mahaleb Cherry, St Lucie Cherry, is a tree.
The trees have a rounded to broadly spreading canopy and reach heights of 8 to 10 metres. The plants reach a width of 3 to 10 metres.
Wood and Bark
The bark is silver-grey to green.
Prunus mahaleb is deciduous. The green, simple leaves are alternate. They are elliptic, dentate and petiolate. They turn an attractive yellow in autumn.
Flowers and Fruits
Prunus mahaleb produces racemes of white five-stellate flowers from April to May. The plants flower on older shoots. They are hermaphroditic, pollination takes places by allogamy through animals.
The trees produce edible red drupes in summer.
The plants form deep-reaching roots.
Prunus mahaleb is native to the whole of Europe with the exception of the British Isles and North Europe, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Caucasus, northern Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Morocco and is naturalized in North America.
The trees prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy or sandy clay soil with a pH between 8 and 10. They tolerate temperatures down to -29Â°C (USDA zone 5).
Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber
- open areas
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- high: city climate, road salt
The ornamental value of Prunus mahaleb lies especially in its fragrance. Suited for windbreaks and soil protection and for noise and dust protection, as well as suited as slope plant, greenery along roads, bee pasture, bird pasture and as plant providing shelter for birds.
Maintenance and Propagation
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.