Prunus maritima is a shrub to 2.5 m tall, sprawling, angular, much-branched, bark black, rough.
Leaves alternate, 4-7 cm long, ca half as wide as long, upper surface dull, puckered (rugose), lower surface hairy, margin toothed.
Flowers white, about 1 cm wide, petals to 0.6 cm long, widest above middle, narrowed to base (cuneate) sepals 0.25 cm long, finely hairy, expanded floral base (hypanthium) hairy, (typical Rosaceae/Prunus flower).
Fruit fleshy, purple-black, surface waxy-whitish (glaucous), about 1.5 cm long. 1-seeded. Seed load 11%, pulp nutrients: water 83%, lipid < 1%, CHO 55% (White 1989). Edible.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Occasional.
Habitat: Open, dry sandy areas in undisturbed areas along the shore, back dunes. Salt tolerant.