General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 15-20 feet
Plant Spread: 15-20 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Suitable Locations: Patio/Ornamental/Small Tree
Uses: Flowering Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Bees
Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Common names
  • Cherry Plum
  • Purple Leaf Plum
  • Purple Cherry Plum
  • Plum

Photo Gallery
Location: Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Date: 2008-04-15
full-grown trees in bloom
Location: Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Date: 2008-04-15
flowers and emerging leaves
Location: Denver CO Metro
Date: Summer, 2009
My purple leaf plum on the east side of the house
Location: Denver Metro, CO
Date: 2012-04-02
closeup of the flower
Location: Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-08-31
full-grown trees
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 31, 2020 11:22 AM concerning plant:
    I would say that this is the most common cultivar of the Purpleleaf Plum Tree or Purple Myrobalan Plum planted in the US. The second most common cultivar of 'Thundercloud' is little different. The only difference is that 'Newport' is a little more cold hardy and 'Thundercloud' is a little more rounded in form and has barely darker foliage. Lake County Nursery in northern Ohio grows both cultivars, but usually most nurseries chose one or the other. 'Newport' actually is a cross of the Purpleleaf Plum Tree with the 'Omaha' Plum that was introduced into the nursery trade in 1923 by the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Station. If I do conventional landscaping, I would use this as an accent plant only, not any large planting. Morton Arboretum that is west of Chicago, Illinois does not recommend any Purpleleaf Plum Tree as an ornamental tree because they usually live about 20 years after planting by getting killed off by canker disease and/or borers because they are stressed by summer heat and humidity and dislike drought not providing water into the tree. Despite this, Purpleleaf Plum Trees are very commonly planted in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast.

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