This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Prunus cuneata Raf. Ann. Nat. 11. 1820.
An erect shrub, 1°-4° high, the branches often strict, light colored, glabrous or puberulent. Leaves oval, oblong or obovate, obtuse or sometimes acute at the apex, narrowed or wedge-shaped at the base, more or less serrate with rather appressed teeth, rather thin, 1'-3' long, sometimes nearly 1' wide; petioles 4"-10" long; flowers in umbels, appearing with the leaves, about 5" broad; drupe globose, nearly black and 4"-5" in diameter when mature; pedicels 1' long or less.
In wet soil, or among rocks, Maine and New Hampshire to Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
Prunus Besseyi Bailey, Bull. Cornell Agric. Exp. Sta.
A shrub, 1°-4° high, the branches diffuse, spreading or prostrate, not strict. Leaves elliptic, oblong or oval, the teeth appressed, the apex and base mostly acute; petioles 2"-3" long; stipules of young shoots often longer than the petiole; flowers in sessile umbels, expanding with the leaves, 4"-5" broad; fruit 6"-8" in diameter, on stout pedicels usually not more than 6" long, bitterish and astringent, black, mottled or yellowish.
Plains, Manitoba and Minnesota to Kansas and Utah. April-May.
Prunus Cerasus L. Sp. Pl. 474. 1753.
A tree, reaching in cultivation the height of 50o, with trunk diameter of 3 1/2°, but usually smaller. Leaves ovate or ovate-lanceolate, variously dentate, abruptly acute or acuminate at the apex, rounded at the base, glabrous on both sides, very resinous when young; flowers white, 8"-12" broad, in sessile, lateral, very scaly umbels, expanding with the leaves or before them, the scales large, spreading; pedicels little over 1 1/2' long in flower; drupe globose, 4"-6" in diameter (larger in cultivation), black or red, sour, without bloom; stone globose.
In woods and thickets, New Hampshire to Georgia and Colorado, escaped from cultivation. Native of Europe. Wood strong, reddish-brown; weight per cubic foot 54 lbs. April-May. Fruit June-July. Its leaves unfold several days later than those of P. Avium when growing with it. This, and the following species, in the wild state, are the originals of most of the cultivated cherries.
Prunus Avium L. Fl. Suec. Ed. 2, 165. 1755.
A large tree, often 700 high, the trunk reaching 4o in diameter. Leaves ovate, oval, or slightly obovate, abruptly short-acuminate at the apex, obtuse or sometimes narrowed at the base, irregularly serrate or doubly serrate, pubescent on the veins beneath, or over the entire lower surface when young; flowers white, about 1' broad, in scaly lateral umbels, expanding with the leaves, the scales small; pedicels slender, 1'-2 1/2' long in flower; drupe globose, black or dark red, sweet.
In thickets and woodlands, escaped from cultivation, Ontario to Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Native of Europe. April-May. Merry. Black-merry. Hawkberry. Gaskins.