Nanking CherryPrunus tomentosa
The Nanking cherry is an upright, rounded, broad-spreading dense shrub becoming more open and irregular with age. The bark is a lustrous orange or reddish brown color, exfoliating in thin strips of vertical curls with age. The flowers are pale pink to white, fragrant and usually profuse. The leaves are a dull, dark green, and given a soft appearance in summer by the downy hair that covers the leaves, new shoots, and fruits. The Nanking cherry produces heavy crops of short stemmed strong red fruits that hold well on the plant 2-3 weeks after ripening. Although some self fertile clones have been identified, it generally requires cross pollination. Two plants should be planted within 100 yards of each other for pollination. The flowers and fruit are borne on branches produced the previous season. The early flowers are somewhat frost tolerant. It adapts to a wide range of growing conditions including drought and extremes of cold and hot temperatures. Annual pruning, although not necessary, will stimulate a steady supply of young, fruitful branches and keep the shrub open to sunlight.