Purple Leaf Plum (Prunus cerasifera 'Atropurpurea') in the Plums Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Purple Leaf Plum
Give a thumbs up Purple Cherry Plum
Give a thumbs up Plum

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 15-25 feet
Plant Spread: 15-25 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Uses: Flowering Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Pollinators: Bees
Various insects


Photo gallery:

Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 23, 2018 8:48 PM

This is the original Purple-leaf Cherry Plum or Pissard Plum Tree that was introduced from the Shah's gardens in Iran to France in 1880 by a Mr. Pissard. Then introduced to the US not long after that. A number of new selections of cultivars came forth over the years from this one. 'Newport' and 'Thundercloud' seem to be the most common selections offered. The mother Cherry Plum species is native to western Asia. Most every large conventional nursery offers a form of the Purple-leaf Plum Tree. It does have pretty foliage and spring flowers. However, its root system tends to be weak and it can lodge some. In both the Chicago, IL, and Philadelphia, PA regions this tree usually lives about 20 years after planting until it is killed by canker and borers due to summers with hot, humid spells, especially with drought. If I went back to conventional ornamental horticulture, rather than naturalistic, I would consider one tree as an accent plant in a landscape yard. Otherwise, I agree with my old woody plant teacher of Dr Michael Dirr that this small tree is often over-planted and "there is something about a purple-leaved beast that excites people to spend money."

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Posted by sandnsea2 (Cape Cod, MA, USA - Zone 7a) on Oct 1, 2011 2:23 PM

This is the one of the first of the Spring flowering trees in our neighborhood, in Zone 7A. Its bloom is followed by the lovely deep maroon red leaves. This tree is well worthy of a spot in anyone's yard. A handsome form and carefree maintenance.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Mystery Shrub by lauribob Dec 13, 2019 10:00 PM 3
Please help by Sulsnake Jan 22, 2016 4:20 PM 6

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