Regularity: Regularly occurring
Global Range: NJ, mountains of central PA south to western MD, eastern WV, western VA, and northwestern NC. Also reported from northeastern TN, and MI (var. davisii). Historical record(s) from CT. Exotic in MA.
Catalog Number: US 2830515
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): N. Davis
Year Collected: 1870
Locality: Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, United States, North America
Comments: In the main portion of its range, P. alleghaniensis occurs in dry rocky woods, in thickets, occasionally on shale and sand barrens, and along the borders of woods (Gleason & Cronquist 1991; Fernald 1950). Wight (1915) provides relatively little description of habitat, noting that this species occurred onlimestone bluffs, on sandy river bottoms along a river in Connecticut, in wet thickets, and in sandy soil along roadsides. In the disjunct portion of its range (Michigan), it occurs in jack pine barrens, open woodlands, and sandy plains (Voss 1985).
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Comments: CD- Between 30-300 EOs in 7 states. Locally abundant in northern lower peninsula of Michigan, and in south-central Pennsylvania.
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: At present, population seems to be secure. However, it is not abundant (except in a few local areas) and has a fairly narrow range in two portions (mid-Appalachians and north-central Michigan).
Comments: A NJ population is threatened by roadside maintenance and housing developments. Defoliation by gypsy moths is often considerable in central and southcentral PA. Prunus alleghaniensis is rare throughout its range, making it especially vulnerable to land-use conversion, habitat fragmentation, and forest management practices (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002). In Michigan, succession as a result of fire suppression is a threat and herbiciding and construction threaten roadside populations (Higman and Penskar 1996).
The leaves of Prunus alleghaniensis are two to three and a half inches long, the tip is usually long and pointed. The leaf margins are finely toothed. The twigs sometimes have thorns. The bark is fissured in older specimens. The flowers are plentiful and white, eventually turning pink. The dark reddish purple fruit is half an inch wide, with a whitish bloom. The tree normally is about five to twenty feet tall with a diameter rarely exceeding half a foot.
Prunus alleghaniensis is not common in moist woodlands. It is typically found in elevations between 1200 and 2000 feet.
- "ITIS Standard Report Page: Prunus alleghaniensis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- "Prunus alleghaniensis". National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- Kershner, Mathews, Nelson & Spellenburg, "Field Guide to Trees of North America", (Sterling Publishing Co, New York, New York, 2008), p. 344-345, accessed the 18th of December, 2010
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Includes two varieties, var. alleghaniensis of the Appalachian region, and var. davisii of Michigan (Voss 1985).
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