Schmitt Cherry Prunus × schmittii
Prunus × schmittii, commonly known as Schmitt's cherry, is a hybrid flowering plant known for its attractive appearance, although specific attributes such as the overall size of the plant cannot be detailed. This plant typically bears the hallmarks of cherry trees with a deciduous nature, meaning it sheds its leaves annually. The leaves of Schmitt's cherry are generally oval-shaped with a pointed tip and a serrated margin, displaying a lush green hue that can turn into captivating colors during the autumn season. This change provides a visual display of oranges, reds, and yellows, adding to the aesthetic value of the plant. The blossoms of Schmitt's cherry are particularly noteworthy, usually flowering in early spring. These flowers often bloom in clusters, presenting a stunning exhibition of color before the foliage has fully developed. The flowers can range from white to a soft pink, with a structure typical of cherry blossoms, consisting of a central core of reproductive parts surrounded by delicate petals. The bark of Schmitt's cherry, while not immediately as commanding as the flowers or foliage, provides a sturdy and textured backdrop that adds to the overall character of the plant. It exhibits the rugged and patterned surface often associated with cherry trees, providing both visual and tactile interest throughout the year. In summary, Schmitt's cherry is a visually striking hybrid with seasonal transformations that include an array of leaf colors and attractive blossoms, contributing to its popularity as an ornamental plant in suitable climates and settings.
About this plant
Prunus × schmittii
Prunus × schmittii, commonly known as the Schmitt cherry, belongs to a genus where several species are known to contain compounds that can be toxic when ingested by humans. While specific information on the Schmitt cherry may be limited, it is generally understood that many Prunus species produce cyanogenic glycosides, primarily amygdalin, within their seeds, leaves, and stems. If parts of the plant containing these compounds, particularly the seeds (also called pits or kernels), are ingested in large enough quantities, they can break down into hydrogen cyanide during digestion. Hydrogen cyanide is highly toxic to humans. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include headache, dizziness, confusion, shortness of breath, hyperventilation, nausea, vomiting, and can lead to more severe consequences such as respiratory failure, loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, and potentially death if not promptly treated. Consumption of any part of the plant, especially the seeds, should be avoided to prevent the risk of poisoning.
Prunus × schmittii, more commonly referred to as the Schmitt cherry, is considered to have similar levels of toxicity to pets as it does to humans. This plant, like other members of the Prunus genus, is likely to contain cyanogenic glycosides, mainly in its seeds, leaves, and stems. When pets chew or ingest these parts of the plant, the compounds can convert to hydrogen cyanide within their digestive system. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in pets can include salivation, agitation, difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, convulsions, and shock. Without immediate veterinary care, the ingestion of toxic parts of the Schmitt cherry can lead to severe illness or even death in pets. Therefore, it is important to prevent pets from consuming any part of this plant, particularly the seeds.
Color of leaves
20 feet (6 meters)
20 feet (6 meters)
- General Benefits
- Ornamental Value: Prunus × schmittii, commonly known as Schmitt's Cherry, offers seasonal beauty with its spring blossoms and autumn foliage, making it a popular choice for landscaping and ornamental purposes.
- Habitat Support: The plant provides habitat and nesting sites for various bird species and small mammals, contributing to the biodiversity of the area.
- Pollinator Attraction: Schmitt's Cherry is known to attract bees and other pollinators, which is essential for the pollination of many plants and crop species.
- Shade and Cooling: The tree can offer shade in landscaped areas, reducing local temperatures and providing a cool area to relax during warmer months.
- Erosion Control: With its root system, Prunus × schmittii can help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion, particularly on slopes or in areas with loose soil.
- Windbreak: When planted in rows, Schmitt's Cherry can act as a windbreak, protecting against soil erosion and reducing wind speeds in exposed areas.
- Food Source: The fruit of the tree can serve as a food source for wildlife, including birds and small mammals, contributing to their sustenance.
- Wood Production: Although not a primary use, the wood of Schmitt's Cherry can sometimes be used in woodworking and for crafting purposes.
- Seasonal Interest: With distinct seasonal changes, the tree can add interest to gardens and parks throughout the year, from flowering to fruiting and leaf coloration changes.
- Cultural Significance: Some species of cherry trees, including hybrids, can have cultural importance in certain regions and are celebrated with festivals and traditions.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Decorative woodwork: The wood of Prunus × schmittii may be used in fine woodworking for its decorative patterns and is prized for its aesthetic qualities.
- Bonsai: Some cultivators may use Prunus × schmittii for bonsai due to its attractive blossoms and the potential to shape its miniature tree form.
- Wildlife habitat: The tree can provide habitat and food for wildlife, including birds and beneficial insects, with its flowers and subsequent fruit.
- Dye production: The bark or fruit may be used as a natural source of dye for fabrics or crafts.
- Fragrance extraction: Fragrant compounds from the blossoms could be extracted and used in perfumery or scent-making.
- Photography backdrop: The picturesque blossoms make it a popular choice among photographers looking for a natural and beautiful backdrop.
- Educational tool: The plant, being a hybrid, can serve as a subject in botanical education to demonstrate hybridization and plant genetics.
- Landscape architecture: Prunus × schmittii is used in landscape design for its aesthetic qualities and its ability to blend with other plants in gardens and parks.
- Culinary decoration: Flowers may be used as an edible decoration for culinary dishes, though they might not be specifically prized for their flavor.
- Artistic inspiration: The beauty of the tree throughout different seasons inspires artists and can be featured in paintings, drawings, and other art forms.
- Feng Shui
The Schmitt's Cherry is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Schmitt's Cherry is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Renewal: Prunus × schmittii, commonly known as the Schmitt's Cherry, blooms in the spring, symbolizing the renewal and the awakening of life after winter.
- Beauty and Fragility: With its attractive blossoms, Schmitt's Cherry represents beauty, but since the flowers are short-lived, they also remind us of life's fragility.
- Purity: The delicate white flowers of the Schmitt's Cherry can symbolize purity and innocence.
- Transience of Life: Like other cherry blossoms, Schmitt's Cherry acts as a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, echoing the traditional Japanese concept of "mono no aware."
- New Beginnings: The blooming of Schmitt's Cherry signifies the start of spring and is often associated with new beginnings and fresh starts.
The Schmitt Cherry should be watered deeply once a week, providing about 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per watering session, depending on the weather conditions. During periods of drought or extreme heat, water twice a week. Ensure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. In cooler months, reduce watering to every other week or when the soil feels dry to the touch. Over-watering can be just as harmful as under-watering, so ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.
The Schmitt Cherry requires full sun to thrive, with at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The best spot for this tree would be an open area with clear access to sunlight throughout the day. Avoid placing it in deep shade or where buildings or taller plants might block the sun for extended periods.
The Schmitt Cherry prefers moderate temperatures and can generally tolerate a range from 20°F to 85°F. It's crucial to protect it from severe freezes, with the ideal temperature range for optimal growth being between 50°F and 75°F. Sudden temperature fluctuations can be harmful, so provide some protection from cold winter winds if temperatures dip toward the lower end of the tree's tolerance.
Prune the Schmitt Cherry during its dormant season in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Pruning is necessary to maintain its shape, remove any dead or diseased branches, and encourage healthy growth. Aim to remove no more than 25% of the tree's canopy in a single season. The best time for pruning is when the tree is not actively growing and when the risk of disease transmission is lower.
For Prunus × schmittii, commonly known as Schmitt's cherry, a well-draining loamy soil with a pH of 6.0-7.5 is optimal. Incorporate organic matter like compost to enrich the soil and ensure good fertility. A blend of two parts loam, one part peat, and one part sand can create an ideal soil mix that allows for proper root growth and adequate drainage.
Schmitt's cherry, being a tree, is not typically repotted. Instead, it is planted outdoors where it can grow to its full size. If it is started in a container, it should be transferred to the ground once it outgrows the pot, usually within 1-2 years.
- Humidity & Misting
Schmitt's cherry thrives in moderate to high humidity levels. While it can tolerate lower humidity, ideally maintaining a humidity level of 40-60% will support its health and growth, especially during the growing season.
- Suitable locations
Grow Schmitt's cherry in bright light and ample space.
Plant in full sun, well-draining soil, and protect young trees from frost.
- Life cycle
Prunus × schmittii, commonly known as Schmitt's Cherry, begins its life cycle as a seed, which after stratification (a period of cold treatment) germinates in the spring. It develops a root system and a shoot that grows into a sapling with leaves that photosynthesize to provide energy for growth. The plant matures into a flowering tree within a few years, producing blossoms that, after pollination, develop into fruits with seeds. The fruits are dispersed by various means, often involving animals that eat the cherries and excrete the seeds at a new location. Under suitable conditions, these seeds may sprout and grow into new Prunus × schmittii trees, continuing the cycle. Deciduous by nature, it undergoes seasonal changes, losing its leaves in the fall and entering dormancy during winter, resuming growth in the spring.
Propogation: Prunus × schmittii, commonly known as Schmitt's cherry, is often propagated through grafting, which is arguably the most popular method for many Prunus species. Grafting typically takes place in late winter or early spring, just before active growth begins. In this process, a scion, the upper part of the plant with desired traits, is cut into a length of about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) with several buds on it. This scion is then joined to a rootstock, the lower part that provides the root system, by making a sloping cut on each and binding them together with grafting tape. The graft union is covered with a sealant to prevent drying out. If the graft takes successfully, the scion will grow and develop into a new Schmitt's cherry plant, carrying the characteristics of the original parent tree.