Flowering understory tree ID

j0nd03March 28, 2014

The usually reliable name that plant forum hasn't hit on this one yet so imma post it here.

This little tree was scattered throughout the understory of the park I was in. I initially thought they were planted by people but I saw them at another park today and then all over town while cruising the hoods. They are extremely fragrant. I could smell them ~30' away! I thought they are some type of serviceberry. Malus has been suggested and may be more likely. I did see serviceberry trees in bloom today as well.

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Prunus, propably in the "padus" subgenus. p. serotina or p. virginiana maybe?

This post was edited by Huggorm on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 18:03

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:00PM
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Definitely not serotina. I'll look up the other one when I get home :-)

Edit: Not virginiana either

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 19:11

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:06PM
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Prunus Americana , American Wild Plum

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Prunus americana is discribed in Gray's Manual as:
Coarse shrub..... with dark, shaggy barked trunks.......branchlets often spinescent
Did you see spines?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:12PM
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I did not see any, Sam. I'll look again next week. The other characteristics matched. Do you doubt the ID or have another idea? The bark seemed very distinctive on all the plants I saw today and was a little different than the Google images I looked up FWIW

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:45PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I am sure it is the plum. It will not be spiny in the manner of a hawthorn, with plums it is sharp ends to spur shoots here and there, varying from many to some or even few.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:52PM
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We have scattered individuals of P.mexicana throughout the woods here - haven't really paid much attention to the bark character, but if I saw an isolated small 'tree' type plum here, that's what I'd be counting on...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:54AM
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Thanks for all the input, guys! I will be sure to monitor the plants for further development and report back. I will probably nab a few fruits when they mature to grow for myself.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 9:11PM
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Yup, I'd agree with American plum, which is highly fragrant. They tend to grow in thickets and will perfume the surrounding area quite nicely. Lucky you!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 2:57PM
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Thanks, basic! I sure do like them! I'm contemplating replacing my viburnum dentatum row and replacing it with these.

Interesting to note that nearly all of the individuals I encountered in the woods were single stemmed. I did come across one in the open and it was more multi stemmed than the ones in shade. Weird. And OMG the smell is out of this world good...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:48PM
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