Useful properties and harm of cherry plum
Cherry plum is a fruit tree reaching a height of 10-13 m in the southern regions, 4-5 m in the middle lane. It has from one to several trunks, sometimes takes the form of a bush.
- The crown of the tree is rounded, less often pyramidal, thickens with improper care. The trunk of the tree reaches a thickness of 50 cm, it has thorny shoots of red-brown color.
- A powerful root system penetrates 10-12 m deep on loose fertile soils, from 2 m and deeper - on dense loams. The radius of the root system reaches 10 m, going beyond the projection of the tree crown. Root growth is extremely rare, only after damage to the roots.
- The cherry plum leaf has an oblong-rounded shape, the color is dark green, in some varieties it is red-brown. Cherry plum buds have a high awakening capacity, so overgrowing twigs can appear even on skeletal branches.
The fruit of the cherry plum is a round or oblong drupe, there are flattened specimens. The fruit has a pronounced groove that visually divides the fruit into two parts. The weight of the fruit of wild varieties is 3-6 g, in cultivated varieties and hybrids its weight reaches 60 g. The flesh of the cherry plum fruit is juicy, its consistency is watery or gristly, the color of the flesh is pink, yellow, green, red. The color of the peel ranges from light yellow to almost black. There may be a waxy coating on the fruit. The stone is almost always poorly separated from the pulp; in hybrids it can be separated more easily.
When ripe, the fruits may crumble. The main ripening period for cherry plum in the middle lane is mid-July-early September.
- The composition and calorie content of cherry plum
- Useful properties of cherry plum
- Cherry plum harm
- What is the difference between cherry plum and plum?
- Cherry plum in cooking
- Plum grafting
- How does cherry plum bloom?
- Where does cherry plum grow?
- Cherry plum varieties
- Contraindications for use
The composition and calorie content of cherry plum
The calorie content of cherry plum is 34 kcal per 100 g, which allows the use of cherry plum in dietary nutrition. Despite its sweet and sour taste, this fruit contains little sugar in its composition.
- Fats: 0.1 g
- Proteins: 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 9.7 g
- Water: 89.5 g
- Ash: 0.5 g
- Cellulose: 1.8 g
Vitamins (per 100 g):
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Minerals (in 100 g):
Complete chemical composition ➤
Other important connections:
Phytosterols - 7 mg (12.7% of the RDI)
Purines - 6 mg (5% of the RDI)
Oxalic acid - 10 mg (2.5% of the RDI)
Useful properties of cherry plum
The healing properties of cherry plum:
- Regulates blood pressure;
- It is a delicate laxative;
- Increases the level of hemoglobin in the blood;
- Helps to cure cough, eliminates sore throat, which is a natural antiseptic;
- Masks with cherry plum pulp eliminate age spots on the skin of the face and body;
- Strengthens general immunity.
Cherry plum fruits can be included in the diet of diabetics, children and the elderly, it will not harm them. Cherry plum rarely causes allergic reactions, so it can be eaten in moderation for those with a predisposition to allergies.
Cherry plum harm
With excessive use, you can feel the consequences of such excesses - abdominal pain, pain in the projection of the stomach, nausea. All these symptoms go away without any treatment.
The biggest danger is the bones of this fruit. Although activated charcoal is made from cherry plum shells, eating these seeds can cause poisoning. They contain hydrocyanic acid, a chemical compound that is dangerous to human life and health. Acid is released during storage of compotes, cherry plum jams, prepared with seeds. A dangerous concentration builds up over a year or more.
What is the difference between cherry plum and plum?
Plum - plants of the Rosaceae family, subgenus Prunus, common in the northern regions of temperate latitudes. There are 250 species, most of which are fruit crops.
Cherry plum also belongs to the genus of plum, its Latin name is "spreading plum" (Prunus cerasifera).
Botanical characteristics of the plum:
- The fruit is a drupe, containing a large stone, has a sweet taste;
- Leaves are simple, with jagged edges, lanceolate;
- Flowers - white or pink, united in an umbrella from 2 to 6 inflorescences or single, have 5 petals and 6 sepals.
Botanical characteristics of cherry plum:
- The fruit is a round-shaped drupe with a waxy coating and a longitudinal groove, often has a sweet and sour taste, in some varieties the flavor is closer to sweet;
- Leaves - elliptical, pointed towards the top;
- Flowers - white or pink, appear in early May.
- The distribution area of cherry plum is farther south than that of the plum;
- Cherry plum is quicker than plum, it begins bearing fruit 2 years earlier than plum;
- Plum ripens earlier than cherry plum, starting from the beginning of summer in the southern regions;
- The stone of most plum varieties separates better than the stone of the cherry plum;
- Cherry plum tolerates transportation over long distances better than plums;
- Plums of most varieties can be dried, cherry plum practically does not undergo such processing;
Cherry plum is practically not exposed to diseases of fruit crops and the action of pests, unlike plums, the cultivation of which requires the use of special means of protection.
Cherry plum in cooking
Sweet and sour cherry plum fruits, which have a delicate aroma, have found application in the culinary arts of different nations.
They are not only eaten fresh, but also various dishes are prepared from cherry plum:
- Essence for cocktails.
Cherry plum is pickled to serve as a side dish for fatty meat dishes. It is used in the food industry to prepare citric acid. The famous Georgian sauce "tkemali", made from a special type of cherry plum, is very popular. To make it, the pulp is simmered in boiling water, rubbed through a sieve, boiled down with the addition of spices and herbs.
Such an inoculation is done in order to make the cherry plum more frost-resistant, since the plum is characterized by increased winter hardiness. In addition, if several varieties of cherry plum are planted on a plum tree, they will pollinate each other, and the overall yield will only increase from this.
For pollination, zoned varieties are selected that are suitable for cultivation in each specific region. If you choose varieties with different periods of fruiting, you can significantly extend the harvest time of cherry plum.
The term of vaccination in the middle lane is March, the time before bud break on the scion and on the rootstock. The age of the tree for the stock should not exceed 5 years, and the branches on which the cutting will be grafted should not be older than a year. The best time for grafting is in the morning with its high humidity, since the air is drier in the evening and the plant sections quickly oxidize and dry, which reduces survival.
The sequence of performing a cleft vaccination is the easiest way:
- Trim the stock with pruning shears.
- Make a cross section on it with a very sharp knife.
- Split the stem in the middle 3-4 cm deep.
- Sharpen the graft in the form of a wedge, starting from the lower bud.
- Insert the scion into the rootstock split with the narrowed part.
- Wrap the place of the scion with electrical tape.
- Cut off the end of the scion with a pruner, leaving 3-4 buds.
- Cover the cut with garden pitch.
- Put a plastic bag over the new shoot to retain moisture.
After the first leaves appear on the scion, the bag should be removed. The tape is removed from the inoculation site when the scion grows at least 25 cm long. During the summer, shoots appearing on the rootstock are removed to provide maximum nutrition to the grafted cuttings. After a year, you can count on the appearance of the first harvest.
How does cherry plum bloom?
Cherry plum blooms with white or light pink flowers, with a diameter of 20-40 mm. Some varieties have dark pink flowers. Cherry plum flowers are located 1-2 on long stalks, have yellow or orange anthers. Cherry plum begins to bloom before the leaves appear; flowers are found on annual or overgrown shoots of a fruit tree.
Flowering continues for 7-11 days, the timing of the appearance of flowers in the middle lane is the beginning of May. Blooming cherry plum is extremely decorative.
Due to its early maturity, cherry plum begins to bloom in the third year of life. The fastest growing varieties lay flower buds at the stage of growing seedlings in the nursery. Sometimes in the fall you can observe the repeated flowering of cherry plum, much weaker than the spring.
Where does cherry plum grow?
The homeland of cherry plum is the countries of the Caucasus, from here it spread over a vast territory from the foothills of the Alps to the northern foothill regions of the Himalayas. Most often, wild cherry plum can be found in bushes along river banks or in undergrowth. Cherry plum was introduced into the culture as early as 1-3 centuries. It was mainly grown in warm regions.
Breeders have done a lot of work to create new varieties and hybrids for growing cherry plum in the regions of Central Russia and the Far East. Today you can find cherry plum not only in the Moscow region, but also to the north - in the Leningrad region. To give the cherry plum increased winter hardiness, breeders cross it with the Chinese plum, whose wood is adapted to withstand frosts down to -50 ° C.
Currently, due to its unpretentiousness, early maturity and productivity, cherry plum is widely cultivated in household plots. The tree can live up to 45-60 years, 20-25 of which it is capable of fruiting. Many varieties of cherry plum are still characterized by low frost resistance, which manifests itself during winter and early spring thaws. The tree begins vegetation after a short warming, and then suffers from freezing of buds, shoots and bark.
Cherry plum does not belong to self-fertile crops. Therefore, for good yields in the garden, there should be at least 2-3 cherry plum trees for cross-pollination.
Cherry plum varieties
The botanical classification uses two names - "spreading plum" and "cherry-like plum". The first is used to characterize wild-growing varieties, the second - for cultivated forms of cherry plum.
Cherry plum subspecies:
- Typical (Caucasian wild cherry plum) - grows in the Caucasus, the Balkans, in the countries of Asia Minor;
- Central Asian wild - grows in Afghanistan and Iran;
- Large-fruited cherry plum - cultural forms cultivated in private gardens.
Varieties of large-fruited cherry plum:
- Georgian - a group of tkemalian varieties with a sour, tart taste,
- Crimean - varieties have a dessert taste and large-fruited, are basic for the creation of most varieties of domestic selection
- Red-leaved (pissarda) - grown for decorative purposes, although it has several large-fruited forms with fruits of excellent taste.
Find out more: The best varieties of hybrid cherry plum for the Moscow region
Contraindications for use
The use of cherry plum and preparations prepared on its basis (jams, sauces, compotes) is contraindicated in case of individual intolerance to this fruit culture.
Especially carefully you need to eat fresh fruits for those who suffer from diseases of the digestive tract:
- Stomach and duodenal ulcer;
- Gastritis with increased acidity of gastric juice.
It is not recommended to use cherry plum in any form for feeding infants.
The use of cherry plum as a dessert and a component of various dishes and preparations will significantly enrich the diet with vitamins. The health benefits of using this fruit will be undeniable with moderate use and taking into account contraindications.
The author of the article: Kuzmina Vera Valerievna | Endocrinologist, nutritionist
Education: Diploma of the Russian State Medical University named after NI Pirogov with a degree in General Medicine (2004). Residency at Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, diploma in Endocrinology (2006).
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