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Nanking Cherry (Cerasus tomentosa), fam. Rosaceae.
Blooms before the majority of fruit plants (except apricots), pale-pink flowers have no aroma. Fore some reason, a large part of the branches quickly dry away after blooming, so the crop appears to be negligibly small. This can be explained by damping-off of the root collar, which is particularly intense in highly snowy winters, when the snow lies on unfrozen soil. Damping-off is manifested as bark and cambium death in separate foci or over the whole ring. In spring the plant damaged from damping-off may start to develop normally, and even blooms, but after that the bush looking healthy becomes sick and withers.
Nanking Cherry was introduced from the Far East in the early 1920s. Despite the superficial similarity of the fruits, Common Cherry and Nanking Cherry are genetically far from each other, and cannot be hybridized. Nanking Cherry forms hybrids with plums, peaches, cherry-plums and apricots (the Prunus genus, where the Nanking Cherry is also being related sometimes now).
The fruits of Nanking Cherry are characterized by higher sugar content and lower acidity than in common cherry.