Purple Leaf Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Purple Leaf Sand Cherry
Give a thumbs up Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 6-10 feet
Plant Spread: 4-6 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Time: Spring
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Erosion control
Flowering Tree
Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Pollinators: Various insects
Parentage: Prunus cerasifera x Prunus pumila

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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 23, 2018 8:22 PM

This is a hybrid between the Purple-leaf Plum Tree or Pissard Plum (Prunus cerasifera 'Atropurpurea', that was introduced into France from Iran in 1880 from the Shah's gardens, with the Sandcherry (Prunus pumila) that is a shrub of willow-like habit from the northeastern US. It was introduced by Dr. Hansen of South Dakota State University in 1910 into the nursery trade. Most every conventional nursery sells some form of this hybrid in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast US. It does have pretty red foliage and nice flowers in spring. However, I've always considered it as a fast growing, cheap, junky shrub. Many homeowners use it wrongly with yellow foliaged plants and bluer foliaged evergreens to create a gaudy bright colour spot that takes away from the vision of the home. Its root system like that of the Purple-leaf Plum Tree is weak and it often lodges some. After about 15 years in regions where there are summer bouts of humid, hot spells, especially with drought, this shrub is attacked by canker disease and borers and dies out. I've seen this a lot in the Chicago, IL, and Philadelphia, PA regions. I used to have a photo of several shrubs in a group dying in the front yard of a large house in Media, PA, about 2012.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Help a total newbie house owner and existing landscape by karuzo Oct 16, 2018 7:00 PM 13
What should I plant here? by ch1719 Apr 1, 2017 7:02 PM 3
Purple Leaf Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena) by jmorth Apr 22, 2015 10:21 PM 6
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130

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