Botanical name: Prunus domestica subsp. italica Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Synonyms: Prunus italica Borkh.
Greengage is an upright, deciduous shrub or small tree, growing 2-6 m tall, occasionally up to 15 m. Leaves are ovate to elliptic, toothed, dark green. White flowers are borne in spring followed by small, oval to oblong, edible, green to yellow-green fruit. Greengage fruit are identified by their round-oval shape and smooth-textured, pale green flesh; they are on average smaller than round plums but larger than mirabelle plums, usually 2-4 cm. The skin ranges from green to yellowish, with a pale blue "blush" in some cultivars. The flowers are eaten. They are used as a garnish for salads and ice cream or brewed into a tea. Greengage is originally from Persia, introduced into Europe, and now widely cultivated. Flowering: May.
Medicinal uses: The dried fruit, known as prunes, is a safe and effective laxative and is also stomachic. The bark is sometimes used as a febrifuge and is styptic. An infusion of the flowers has been used as a mild purgative for children.
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