Prunus cerasifera
Common name: 
Cherry Plum
Myrobalan Plum
PROO-nus ser-as-IF-er-a
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf, slender-branched tree to 8 m, sometimes thorny.  Leaves simple, alternate, elliptic to obovate, 3-6 cm long, finely serrulate, tip acute, base rounded or wedge-shaped, light green, usually with less than 6 pairs of veins; petiole 1-1.5 cm long; glands may be present at the base of the blade at the attachment with the petiole.  Flowers mostly solitary, 2-2.5 cm across, white. 25-30 stamens.  Fruit rounded (subglobose), red, 2-3 cm across, slighty bloomy.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (4) 5   Native to western Asia and the Caucasus. The green leaf species has been in cultivation since the 1600s, and the subsequently more common purpleleaf plums have been in Western cultivation since 1880. This is the year when a purpleleaved Prunus cerasifera was exported from the Persian shah's garden.  A Monsieur Pissard, the shah's French head gardener, is credited with this historic introduction and the first purpleleaf plum was name 'Pissardii' (Jacobson, 1992).  Some call this clone 'Atropurpurea'. Here are three purpleleaved clones:
    • 'Atropurpurea'  -  small tree, 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m), twiggy, rounded form, single white to pinkish flowers; purplish foliage.
    • 'Krauter's Vesuvius'  -  upright tree, similar to 'Thundercloud' in appearance.  Flowers light pink, dark purplish foliage.
    • 'Thundercloud'  -  small tree, 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m), similar width, shrubby, twiggy and rounded; single pale pink to white flowers, coppery-purple foliage through growing season
    • 'Newport', incorrectly labeled as Prunus cerasifera 'Newport, should be Prunus 'Newport'
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