Common Ground Landscape Design

The Mystery of Prunus Glandulosa.

Why do you suppose this shrub is called a flowering almond?flowering almond I don't think it is a proper almond, is it? Isn't Prunus the genus of Cherry? So, how did almond become a member of the genus cherry? Interestingly, the family that cherry belongs to is Rosaceae. According to Linneaus plants are classified by the relatedness in the flower in terms of pistons and stamens (It always boils down to sex doesn't it?) If this is true then we can see how the cherry and the almond family were designated this classification, as their "internal" flowers as well as the external flowersclose up of flowering almond blossoms resemble roses.

I once saw a hedge of flowering almond that was so spectacular, and surprising that more people haven't thought of this as a possibility before. If you have used flowering almonds in a creative way, I would love to see it. Send me a link and I'll post it.

There are very few pests that bother the flowering almond, and they come as an attractive standard as well as a bush form, for a more formal garden planting. I think the only dissappointing characteristics of this shrub is that you get neither cherries or almonds, and it has a very dissatisfying name. Prunus glandulosa. It sounds like a very serious genetic glandular disorder.

A few months ago I attended a Tu'Bishevat Sedar. This a Spring celebration in the Jewish calendar year that celebrates the new year of the trees. I met a lovely woman there, who told us stories of being in Israel when the almond groves were in bloom. It sounded wonderful, but nothing prepared me for the 2 photographs that she later sent me via email. I was so grateful when she gave me permission to use these images and show all of you this incredible display of blossoms. Enjoy!

awesome almond blossoms

photo:Sharon Ross

single almond blossom

photo:Sharon Ross


I love this time of year, but please be careful when driving out there. The danger of trying to catch a glimpse of something beautiful as you are driving by is too tempting. please keep your eyes on the road. (Yes! I am writing this from direct experience.)