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Prinsepia sinensis - (Oliv.)Oliv. ex Bean.

Author(Oliv.)Oliv. ex Bean. Botanical references11, 200, 266
FamilyRosaceae GenusPrinsepia
SynonymsPlagiospermum sinense - Oliv.
Known HazardsNone known
RangeE. Asia - Northern China to Manchuria.
HabitatIn the shade of mixed forests and in shrubberies, especially on pebbly or alluvial soils[74]. Mixed forests, forests of shady slopes, open places on slopes and beside streams in northern China[266].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5) Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics

icon of man icon of shrub A decidious Shrub growing to 1.8m at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.


Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 105, 177]. Red and juicy[11]. A pleasant sour taste[74], they can be eaten out of hand or made into jellies[183]. The plum-shaped fruit is about 15mm long with one large seed[200].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in full sun or light shade[182, 200]. The plants produce flowers and fruits better when they are growing in full sun[200]. Flowers are produced on the previous seasons wood[200]. They are produced on old wood according to another report[182]. This plant has a potential for commercial fruit production[74]. Unfortunately, it only fruits in Britain after long hot summers[200].


Seed - best if given 2 months cold stratification[113]. Sow the seed in autumn if possible, otherwise in late winter or early spring in a cold frame in light shade. Germination may be inhibited by light[113]. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle into individual pots. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[113].



[1] F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press 1951
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).

[11] Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray 1981
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.

[74] Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation 1968
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers.

[105] Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing 1976
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.

[113] Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press 1987 ISBN 0942375009
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.

[177] Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books 1984 ISBN 3874292169
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.

[182] Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray 1992 ISBN 0-7195-5043-2
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.

[183] Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications 1990 ISBN 0-9628087-0-9
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.

[200] Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press 1992 ISBN 0-333-47494-5
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

[266] Flora of China 1994
On-line version of the Flora - an excellent resource giving basic info on habitat and some uses.



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