Edible Landscaping: Cherry Shrubs
About Cherry Shrubs
Edible Landscaping: Cherry Shrubs
If you are thinking about landscaping your yard you may want to consider edible shrubs. Why not enjoy eating what you have worked so hard to plant. There are several different cherry shrubs that you can choose from.
Below are questions and answers that can help you decide which cherry shrub is best for you:
In what way can the shrub be used?
Edible cherry shrubs can be used in several ways. If your home has a southern exposure, the cherry shrub can be used as a foundation plant to reduce heat. You can use the cherry shrub as a hedge to define garden space. Additionally, as a feature in the garden, the cherry shrub is not just ornamental, it will also produce food for the family.
What are the different types of cherry shrubs?
1 - Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora L.)
According to the Purdue University website, the adaptability of this edible cherry shrub makes it the most widely known of all the edible Eugenia species. When looking for this edible cherry shrub, you may find it known by several other names. The Surinam cherry is also known as the Brazilian or Brazil cherry, Cayenne cherry, Florida cherry and the pitanga.
When this shrub is developing, the fruit turns from a green to an orange color; at maturity it turns from a bright red to a dark scarlet and sometimes a purplish maroon. The Surinam Cherry is very juicy and has a pulp that ranges from acidic to sweet with a hint of a slight bitterness.
2 - Western Sand Cherry
Rounded in shape, this cherry shrub is hardy, deciduous and ranges in height from three to eight feet. According to the Colorado State website, the Western Sand Cherry shrub is very rarely bothered by diseases or insects.
The cherries range in color from a deep purple to black. It has a sour pulp and is most often used as a pie filling and for making jelly. The cherries are also appetizing to birds.
3 - The Nanking Cherry
This cherry shrub is very dense and is a favorite in landscaping when used in mass plantings such as for a hedge, a border, a very adequate windbreak filler and also as a habitat for wildlife.
This cherry shrub is also known by several other names. Look for the Mongolian cherry, Chinese cherry, Manchu cherry, bush cherry, downy cherry, hedge cherry and the mountain cherry.
The edible Nanking cherry is a brilliant red and is borne on branches that are produced the previous summer; they ripen during the early to late summer season. Tangy and tart, the cherry is eaten fresh and can also be used to make jam and as pie filling.
According to the Arbor Day website, this cherry shrub produces heavy crops of cherries that will remain on the plant for 2 to 3 weeks after they ripen.
4 - Barbados Cherry
This bushy cherry shrub rose from relative obscurity about 40 years ago, according to Purdue University. The large shrub has evergreen leaves and is also known by several other names. This includes the French cherry, the West Indian cherry, the garden cherry and the native cherry.
The brightly colored red cherries are oblate to round and have a glossy skin with a very juicy pulp. The Barbados cherry is picked when they fully ripen and are used in desserts. You can preserve the fruit if you pick cherries that are slightly immature - and yellow. Fruiting season varies according to the weather.
Did You Know? Did you know cherries are a natural source of melatonin and can help you sleep at night? (See link below for more information)
For more information about other shrubs and a variety of plants see the links below.
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Melatonin in Cherries
- Nature's Own Melatonin: Cherries
Melatonin is often called the