PRUNUS PUMILA var.
Great Lakes Sand
HABIT: Low, diffusely branched, erect to decumbent or
prostrate shrub to 3 m. ; flowering May-early June; fruiting July-September.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Only one other low, sand inhabiting Prunus--P.
susquehanae-- is found in Ohio. P. pumila is distinguished from it
pumila - leaves narrowly
oblanceolate with apex acute to acuminate and base narrowly cuneate, lustrous
above, pale below.
susquehanae - leaves elliptic to
ovate, obtuse to subacute at apex, acute to rounded at base, pale green above,
TOTAL RANGE: Endemic to the Great Lakes regions from Lake
Ontario w. to n. MN and no. to about 52o latitude.
STATE RANGE: ERIE CO.: Cedar Point, 31 June 1899, W.A.
Kellerman & R.F. Griggs (OS); Cedar Point, 21 Sept. 1900, W.A.
Kellerman (OS); only one plant, Cedar Point, 10 July 1902, E.L. Moseley
n.d., W.A. Kellerman (OS). HAMILTON CO.: Terrace Park, dry gravel soil,
9 Aug. 1917, E.L. Braun (CINC, OS). The Erie County collections all are
from the general locality. Jennings (1908) describes this site. The Hamilton
County population is described by Braun (1961, p. 222): "adventive... it
grew in gravelly soil of an abandoned gravel pit near a railroad.
HABITAT: Sand dunes, sandy or calcareous, rocky shores.
HAZARDS: Mechanical disturbance of the beaches by off-road
vehicles, etc., sudden alterations in water level, overshading through succession,
RECOVERY POTENTIAL: Unknown, presumed poor due to limited
and limiting habitat.
INVENTORY GUIDELINES: Collect mature fruiting branchlets.
Record growth habit carefully.
COMMENTS: The habitat for this Great Lakes endemic is virtually
non-existent in Ohio today. The site of the only indigenous population has been
altered beyond recognition. Possibly it possibly may be confused with Prunus
susquehanae (see Similar Species) and thus overlooked, but this seems
unlikely. This species probably is truly extirpated from the Ohio flora.
Braun, E.L. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. The Ohio State
Univ. Press, Columbus, Ohio. 362 p.
Fernald, M.L. 1923. The identity of sand cherries in eastern
North America. Rhodora 25: 69-74.
Jennings (1908). An ecological classification of the
vegetation of Cedar Point. Ohio Naturalist 8: 291-340.
Soper, J.H. and M.L. Heimberger. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario.
Royal ntario Museum, Toronto, Canada. 495 p.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Created: 2/1985 Allison W. Cusick
Database Code: SPLC.858