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Prunus – Wikipedia

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**Botany and Classification:**
– Members of the Prunus genus can be deciduous or evergreen.
– Leaves are simple, alternate, usually lanceolate, unlobed, and often with nectaries on the leaf stalk.
– Flowers are usually white to pink, sometimes red, with five petals and five sepals.
– Numerous stamens are present in the flowers.
Fruit is a fleshy drupe with a single relatively large, hard-coated seed.
– Oldest confirmed fossils of Prunus date to the Eocene.
– Carl Linnaeus used four genera to include modern Prunus species.
– Historical treatments segregated the genus into different genera.
– Alfred Rehder hypothesized five subgenera within Prunus.

**Species and Cultivation:**
– Lists of Prunus species are incomplete but include well-known species.
– Species include African cherry, apricot, almond, European dwarf cherry, and Chinese bush cherry.
– Ornamental species like winter-flowering cherry and flowering plum are part of Prunus.
– Prunus includes almond, nectarine, peach, apricots, cherries, and plums.
– Many species are grown as ornamental plants for flowers, foliage, and bark.
– Some species have been introduced to non-native regions and naturalized.
– The wood of some species is used for furniture and cabinetry.
– Prunus species have medicinal uses and are food plants for larvae of Lepidoptera species.

**Ornamental and Medicinal Uses:**
– Ornamentals include flowering cherries like sakura.
– Some species are grown for hedging and utilitarian purposes.
– Prunus wood is prized for furniture and cabinetry.
– Some species produce aromatic gum used medicinally.
– Pygeum, a herbal remedy from Prunus bark, is used for medicinal purposes.

**Health Benefits of Prunus Fruits:**
– Fruits rich in nutrients and phytochemicals are beneficial to human health.
– Prunus fruits contain phytochemicals and antioxidants.
– Compounds in these fruits can prevent diseases like cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
– Factors affecting bioactive compounds include environment, season, and processing methods.
– Postharvest management impacts levels of bioactive compounds.
– Cherries, almonds, plums, apricots, peaches, and nectarines all have specific health benefits due to their antioxidant properties and nutrient content.

**Research and Evolutionary Studies:**
– Evolutionary studies have been conducted on peach and almond domestication.
– Phylogenetic relationships within the Prunus genus have been analyzed.
– Various studies have explored the bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity of Prunus fruits.
– Research has been done on the health-promoting properties of fruits and vegetables.
– Studies have investigated the bioactive properties of Prunus fruits and their potential health implications.

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