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This genus of Rosaceae is a very important one from a decorative point of view, for it contains a large number of our most useful flowering trees and shrubs, serviceable alike for large and small gardens. As the genus now stands, the Almonds, Apricots, Peaches, Cherries, Plums, and Laurels are all included under Prunus, though in many gardens the Almonds are still known under the generic name of Amygdalus, the Peach under Persica, the Apricot under Armeniaca, the Cherries under Cerasus, and the Laurels under Laurocerasus, the Plums only being classed as Prunus.

All the species prefer rich soil, though some will grow in that of an inferior quality. The more showy of the larger growers make excellent lawn specimens, while the best of the dwarf ones are desirable for beds. For forcing many are excellent, several being mentioned in the chapter on trees and shrubs for forcing.

The species are, as a rule, raised from seeds, the varieties being grafted or budded, while a few, such as Prunus Japonica and Prunus triloba, can be increased by means of cuttings of soft shoots in summer.

In the following list a selection of the most showy species and varieties in each section is given:

- Prunus amygdalus (Almond).

- Prunus armeniaca (Apricot).

- Prunus (Plum).

- Prunus cerasus (Cherry).

- Prunus padus (Bird cherry).

- Prunus laurocerasus (Laurel).