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Tree Browser

With these characteristics: None

Plum, Purpleleaf or Cherry or Myrobalan

Prunus cerasifera

Rosaceae - Rose

Description

Leaves: Alternate; simple; ovate to obovate; 1-1/2"  to 2-1/2" long and half as wide; deciduous; usually purple-green to dark purple, occasionally dark green; glabrous above and beneath except for hairs along veins beneath; finely serrate margin; may have glands where petiole attaches to blade.

Twigs/buds: Twigs slender; glabrous; silver-gray when young, dark gray when older.  Buds 1/4" long, scaly, dark purple-gray.

Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect, pink or white, 3/4" to 1" in diameter; appearing in early spring.  Fruit a one-seeded round drupe (plum) about 1" in diameter; dark purple; usually present in small numbers; sweet and edible; maturing in mid-summer.

Bark: Shiny smooth and dark purple at first with small horizontal lenticels, roughening with age with small vertical cracks and enlarging brown lenticels.

Wood: Not important and essentially unknown; dark heartwood.

General: Native to western Asia and cultivated for centuries.  Fairly adaptable to different sites, but also pest-prone like many Rosaceae.  Shade intolerant.  Weak wood and/or branch structure.  Fruit and/or plant part can be nuisances; use fruitless varieties if possible.

Landscape Use: A small tree widely used in the landscape, in Utah mostly as the purple-leaved cultivar 'Newport'.  I have had two of these trees in my yard in Logan and was not impressed.  Included bark and weak branch attachments are common.  Reputed to lack cold-hardiness, but mine survived the cold, only to succumb to branch breakage and trunk decay.  However, it is beautiful in bloom.  Zones 5(4?)-8.

Cultivars: 'Alfred', 'Atropurpurea', 'Clark Hill Redleaf', 'Festeri', 'Hessei', 'Hollywood', 'Krauter Vesuvius', 'Mt. St. Helens', 'Newport', 'Nigra', 'Purple Pony', 'Purpusii', 'Thundercloud', 'Vesuvius'.

Characteristics

General

Family:
Rosaceae - Rose
Cultivar Availability:
Yes
Hardiness Zone:
5-8
Type:
Broadleaf
Utah Native:
No

Growth

Growth Rate:
Medium
Mature Height:
Low
Longevity:
Low
Is Good Under Power Lines:
Yes
Crown Shape:
Rounded

Ornamental

Bark:
Yes
Fall Color:
No
Flowers:
Yes
Foliage:
Yes
Fruit:
No

Tolerence

Shade:
Low
Salt:
Medium
Drought:
Medium
Poor Drainage:
Low
Alkalinity:
Medium
Transplanting:
Medium