Prunus Domes'Tica, Prunum, Prune. The partly dried ripe fruit, official 1820-1910; W. Asia, cult. in S. France, California. Tree, 4.5-6 M. (15-20°) high; leaves 5 Cm. (2') long, dentate, ovate, pubescent
Fig. 168. - Prunus Laurocerasus.
beneath; flowers whitish. Fruit (drupe), 2.5-4 Cm. (1 - 1 3/5') long, ellipsoidal, brownish-black, shriveled, sarcocarp sweet, acidulous, putamen hard, smooth or ridged; seed almond-shaped, but smaller, bitter almond taste. Of the several varieties, the St. Catherine and Greengage are finer as a dessert, and Prune de St. Julian (France) as a medicine; contains sugar 12-25 p. c, pectin, albumin, malic acid, tartaric acid, salts; seeds - fixed oil, amygdalin, emulsin. Nutritive, laxative, demulcent; constipation - skins indigestible; fermented and distilled for brandy, which contains alcohol 40 p. c. Dose, ad libitum.
2. P. Laurocer'asus, Cherry Laurel. - Leaves (fresh) official in some countries; W. Asia. Ornamental shrub or tree, 3-6 M. (9-20°) high; leaves 15 Cm. (6') long, obovate, oblong, serrate, coriaceous; bitter almond odor; aromatic, bitter taste; contains laurocerasin, C40H67NO30 (similar to amygdalin), emulsin, tannin, sugar, fat, wax, phyllic acid (crystalline, occurring also in leaves of almond, apple, maple, peach); yields hydrocyanic acid .12 p. c, and oil of bitter almond (benzal-dehyde) .5 p. c, in which spring leaves are richest. Sedative, narcotic; used to make cherry laurel water (Aqua Laurocerasi, Br.) by distilling 400 ML (Cc.) from leaves 320 Gm. + water 1,000 Ml. (Cc.). Dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 Ml. (Cc.)).