Prunus pumila var. besseyi
Western Sand Cherry
- Main interest:
- profusion of fragrant white flowers, spring bloomer, dark edible fruit, extremely hardy, native, beneficial to wildlife
- full sun to partial shade
- Soil humidity:
- dry to moist soil; well drained
- Flower colour:
- Mildly fragrant
- Flowering period:
- greyish green
- USDA Hardiness:
- zone 2a: -45.5 °C (-50 °F) View Zone Map
- Mature height & width (max.):
- height: 6 ft (1.8 m) width: 6 ft (1.8 m)
- fruit production, pollinator garden, specimen, mass planting, renaturalizing
Western Sand Cherry is a low, spreading, compact shrub, with unusual foliage for the Prunus species – it is dark green on top and greyish green on the underside. The foliage changes to red-orange in the fall. It reaches 4 feet to 6 feet tall and wide.
In Spring, the branches are covered with a profusion of white, half-inch flowers, which attract bees and other insects that pollinate them. Western Sand Cherry fruits are flashy, single-seeded, and dark purple to black in colour. These sweet cherries ripen in July and August. They make an excellent pie, and are used dried, in jelly, jam, syrup, and even wines.
This dwarf cherry tree is not a self-pollinating cherry variety. It is necessary to plant a second Western Sand Cherry tree nearby for cross-pollinating and producing fruits. Prunus besseyi can also be used as a pollinator for other cherry/plum trees (such as the varieties/species: 'Convoy', 'Manor', 'Opata', 'Sapa', 'Brookred', Toka, Pipestone, Tecumsch, Pembina).
Prunus pumila var. besseyi is native to Canada, and is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that needs full sun but doesn’t require much water. Tolerates inhospitable, hot and dry conditions, as well as urban pollution.
Although Western Sand Cherry rarely reaches 20 years of age, its seeds are dispersed by birds and animals, and readily sprout where dropped. Wonderful planted in stands, along woodland edges, and massed as windbreaks. Branches of blooms are wonderful in arrangements.
$18.99 - $50.99
Synonym(s): Prunus besseyi, Prunus pumila subsp. besseyi, Cerasus besseyi
Also known as: Western Sandcherry, Sand Cherry