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..
Cerasus demissa melanocarpa A. Nelson, Bot. Gaz.
34: 25. 1902. P. melanocarpa Shafer; Britton & Shafer, N. A. Trees 504. 1908.
A shrub or small tree, with greatest height of about 30o and trunk diameter of 1 1/2°, but usually much smaller. Leaves glabrous, similar to those of the preceding species, but thicker, acute or often obtusish at the apex, and with shorter teeth; flowers white, 4"-5" broad; racemes generally dense, short or elongated, densely-flowered, terminating leafy branches; drupe dark purple or black (rarely yellow), sweet or but slightly astringent, globose, 3"-4" in diameter.
Prairies and dry soil, North Dakota to Nebraska and New Mexico, west to British Columbia and California. Wood hard, not strong, light brown; weight per'cubic foot 43 lbs. Western choke-cherry. May-July. Fruit ripe in August. Padus demissa (Nutt.) Roemer, of northwestern America, with leaves pubescent beneath, and red or purplish fruit, may not be distinct from P. nana.
Prunus virginiana L. Sp. Pl. 473. 1753.
Padus virginiana Mill. Gard. Dict. Ed. 8, no. 3.
A large tree, with maximum height of about 90o and trunk diameter of 40, the bark rough and black. Leaves thick, oval, oval-lanceolate or ovate, acuminate or acute at the apex, narrowed or rounded at the base, glabrous, or pubescent along the veins beneath, serrate with appressed callous teeth; flowers similar to those of the two preceding species, the racemes elongated, spreading or drooping, terminating leafy branches, petals obovate; drupe globose, 4"-5" in diameter; dark purple or black, sweet but slightly astringent.
In woods or open places, Nova Scotia to Florida, South Dakota. Kansas and Texas. Wood hard, strong, reddish-brown; weight per cubic foot 36 lbs.; used in cabinet making. Wild or whiskey cherry. May. Fruit ripe Aug.-Sept.
3. AMŢGDALUS L. Sp. Pl. 472. 1753.
Trees or shrubs, with mostly lanceolate serrulate short-petioled leaves, and pink or white flowers solitary or clustered at the nodes of the twigs of the preceding season. Petals spreading. Stamens 20-30, distinct, the filaments filiform. Style and stigma as in Prunus. Exocarp of the fruit mostly fleshy, velvety in the following species; endocarp (stone) bony, deeply pitted or nearly smooth, oval or oblong, pointed, more or less compressed. [Name said to be Syrian for the almond.]
About 5 species, natives of Asia, the following the type of the genus.