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Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 90-120- days
Germination: sow seed 1/2" deep, tamp the soil, keep moist but not wet
Prunus mahaleb, also known as the Mahaleb Cherry or St. Lucie Cherry, is a deciduous tree native to the Mediterranean region, Iran and parts of central Asia. It grows up to 9m tall and is cultivated for the bitter taste of its seeds, which are used as a spice in breads and pastries. The tree blooms in mid spring, with fragrant flowers that attract bees and insects for pollination. It is grown as an ornamental tree for its strongly fragrant flowers and can be grown in a variety of soils, including light (sandy), medium (loamy), and heavy (clay) soils. The tree prefers moist soil and can grow in semi-shade or no shade. The seeds of Prunus mahaleb have a taste comparable to bitter almonds with cherry notes and are used in small quantities to sharpen sweet foods. The wood of the tree is hard and is used in cabinet-making and for pipes. The bark, wood, and seeds contain coumarin, which has anti-inflammatory, sedative and vasodilation effects. Away from its native range, Prunus mahaleb is grown as an ornamental tree for its strongly fragrant flowers, throughout temperate regions of the world. A variety of cultivars have been selected for their ornamental value, including 'Albomarginata', with variegated foliage, 'Bommii', a dwarf with strongly pendulous branches, 'Globosa', a compact dwarf clone, 'Pendula', with drooping branching, and 'Xanthocarpa' with yellow fruit.