Identification: Salt Spring Island - are these P. x pugetensis?

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by wcutler, May 7, 2020.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    A friend on Salt Spring Island has sent me photos of two trees for ID. I was going to say Prunus avium based on the leaf margins and the reflexed sepals, but the amount of hair on the leaf backs and calyx and the flowers in corymbs rather than umbels have be wondering if they are Prunus x pugetensis. The second tree is between two bitter cherries (Prunus emarginata), and the two in question are different from those. What gives me pause about this ID is that there are no notches on the petal edges (well, maybe I can see one), and that was a characteristic mentioned in a previous thread.

    I have never all by myself identified a Puget cherry, would like confirmation or direction. Thank you.
    Tree 1, near a rock outcropping
    Tree1_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_5unnamed.jpg Tree1_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_1unnamed.jpg Tree1_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_2unnamed.jpg Tree1_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_3unnamed.jpg Tree1_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_4unnamed.jpg Tree2_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_Cherry leaf underside 2.jpg Tree2_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_Cherry leaves and flowers 2.jpg Tree1_SaltspringIsland-RockOutcrop_RosemaryKeough_2020_05_08_115.JPG

    Tree two, near a gate, between two Prunus emarginata
    Tree2_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_20200503_3.jpg Tree2_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_20200503_8.jpg Tree2_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_20200504_1.jpg Tree2_SaltspringIsland_RosemarieKeough_20200504_1-crop.jpg Tree2_SaltspringIsland-Gate-betw_BitterCherries_RRosemaryKeough_2020_05_08_101.JPG Tree2_SaltspringIsland-Gate-betw_BitterCherries_RRosemaryKeough_2020_05_08_106.JPG Tree2_SaltspringIsland-Gate-betw_BitterCherries_RRosemaryKeough_2020_05_08_108.JPG Tree2_SaltspringIsland-Gate-betw_BitterCherries_RRosemaryKeough_2020_05_08_125.JPG
    The bark looks more like P. emarginata than P. avium. It looks like the P. emarginata has made it into the right side of the third photo.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes, there are pictures within this set that shows the Puget cherry.
     
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  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks, Ron. My friend has said she mislabeled the two scans, and has sent more photos. In the original posting, I have replaced the two photos and moved them to the tree group they belong to, and have added more photos for Tree 2. Here is a side-by-side comparison she has sent, tree 1 on the left:
    PrunusXpugetensis-Tree1and2_Salt Spring_RosemaryKeough_2020_05_08_121.JPG
    I think that tree 2 looks more like Prunus avium, no hairs on the calyces, flowers closer to umbels. But the bark looks more like P. emarginata bark to me, and the pubescent pedicels and leaf backs in the second-to-last photo of Tree 2 don't seem appropriate for that. I am adding in a link to a website I keep referencing for Prunus avium photos, which it calls wild cherries, never mentions avium but it came up on a search for that word:
    Micscape Microscopy and Microscope Magazine. There are only the sparsest of hairs on the leaf backs on that page and no pedicel hairs.

    Are there degrees of hybridization? Could they both be pugetensis with one tree having more of the emarginata characteristics than the other?
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Peter Zika - one of the authors of the combination Prunus x pugetensis - separates the two on page 208 of the 2018 edition of Flora of the Pacific Northwest (University of Washington Press, Seattle) by the hybrid having a percentage of umbels on a peduncle, with others being corymbose or sessile, the petals being 7-14 mm long, and its pale to bright red fruits being 10-19 mm across. With sweet cherry instead producing sessile umbels of flowers 25-33 mm across, with notched petals 11-16 mm long.
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Both of these trees fail to be sweet cherry on these two characteristics. I had misunderstood in my posting several years ago which had notched petals, and now that you mention it, I see that Micscape magazine article does show notched petals on avium.
    So both trees are Puget cherries. Thank you, Ron!

    I have added the book to the Pacific Northwest Native Plants Resources and Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest - Online and Written Resources pages.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Rosemarie has some questions about her cherries:

    Is P. x pugetensis now a common tree?

    Can its seeds produce other P. x pugetensis? Or must there always be a cherry pit with pollen and blossom from the Bitter and the Sweet Cherry?

    Have other sightings been noted on Salt Spring? (ie, should she notify the Salt Spring Trail and Nature Club? I see that this is not mentioned on E-Flora BC.
     

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