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Common Name: Indian Cherry
Rhamnus carolinianus is a Deciduous Tree up to 12.00 metres tall.
It has edible, medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
Although no specific mention of toxicity has been found for this species, there is the suggestion that some members of this genus could be mildly poisonous[
Eastern N. America - Virginia to Florida, west to Texas and Nebraska.
Rich woods, sheltered slopes, borders of streams and limestone ridges[
]. Swamps and low ground[
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil[
], whether moderately acid or alkaline[
]. Prefers a moist moderately fertile soil in sun or partial shade[
One report suggests that the plant might not be very hardy in Britain[
], whilst another says that it is in climatic zone 6 and thus tolerates temperatures down to about -15°c[
A slow-growing and usually short-lived plant in the wild[
Plants are susceptible to 'crown rust' of oats[
]. The species in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
This species is closely related to R. purshiana[
Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit has a thin rather dry flesh[
] with a sweet and agreeable flavour[
]. The fruit is about 7 - 10mm in diameter and contains 2 - 4 small seeds[
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
A tea made from the bark is emetic and strongly laxative[
]. It is used in the treatment of constipation with nervous or muscular atony of the intestines[
An infusion of the wood has been used in the treatment of jaundice[
Wood - rather hard, light, close grained, not strong[
]. It weighs 34lb per cubic foot[
]. Too small to be of commercial value[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed will require 1 - 2 months stratification at 5°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, autumn in a frame.
Layering in early spring[