Prunus pumila L.
Common Name: SAND CHERRY
Coefficient of Conservatism: 8
Coefficient of Wetness: 5
Wetness Index: UPL
Physiognomy: Nt Shrub

Prunus pumila var. pumila A. A. Reznicek var. pumila

Sandy or gravelly shores, dunes, and old beach ridges around the Great Lakes; inland, on sandy plains and fields, often with jack pine and/or oak, in both Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula; also on rocky ledges, pavements, and summits.

Catling, McKay-Kuja, & Mitrow (1999) and Rohrer (2000) provide much new information about our sand cherries. Rohrer recognizes three varieties in Michigan. Variety susquehanae (Willd.) Jaeger, broad-leaved, with oblong-elliptic or obovate leaf blades quite obtuse or rounded, and pale beneath and first year twigs finely pubescent, is found on jack pine plains and other dry open or lightly forested areas throughout Michigan, but apparently in somewhat acidic soils and usually not on the Great Lakes shores. In var. pumila the leaves are more narrowly oblanceolate, more acute, and less pale beneath and the twigs are glabrous. This is confined to beaches and dunes of the Great Lakes. A few collections from the western Upper Peninsula and northernmost Lower Peninsula appear to be P. pumila var. besseyi (L. H. Bailey) Waugh, a western plant, also with glabrous twigs but with broader, shinier leaves that are more acutely toothed. This also occurs in northern Indiana, very close to Michigan. An additional variety, the prostrate and creeping var. depressa (Pursh) Bean occurs on Manitoulin Island, Ontario and should be sought on rocky or sandy shores in the eastern Upper Peninsula, especially Drummond Island.

Of the three Michigan varieties, var. susquehanae is the most distinctive with its pubescent twigs, and Catling, McKay-Kuja, & Mitrow (1999) recognize it at the rank of species, as P. susquehanae.


Alcona County
Alger County
Allegan County
Alpena County
Antrim County
Arenac County
Baraga County
Bay County
Benzie County
Berrien County
Calhoun County
Charlevoix County
    Including Beaver Island
Cheboygan County
Chippewa County
    Including Drummond Island
Clare County
Crawford County
Delta County
Emmet County
Grand Traverse County
Houghton County
Huron County
Iosco County
Iron County
Jackson County
Kalamazoo County
Kalkaska County
Kent County
Keweenaw County
Lake County
Lapeer County
Leelanau County
    Including Fox Islands
    Including Manitou Islands
Luce County
Mackinac County
    Including Bois Blanc, Mackinac, Round Islands
Macomb County
Manistee County
Marquette County
Mason County
Mecosta County
Menominee County
Midland County
Monroe County
Montcalm County
Montmorency County
Muskegon County
Newaygo County
Oakland County
Oceana County
Oscoda County
Otsego County
Ottawa County
Presque Isle County
Schoolcraft County
St. Clair County
Van Buren County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. May 25, 2022.