Cherry Plum, Myrobalan Plum
- Deciduous tree, small, 15-30 ft (4.5-9 m), similar width, shrubby, twiggy and rounded, spreading branches. Leaves alternate, simple, ovate, elliptic, or obovate, 4-6.5 cm long, apex pointed. Flowers perfect, white, 2 cm diam., appear before leaves. Red to yellow fruit, about 2.5 cm diam, in summer, edible.
- Sun. Any average soil, well-drained. Prune after flowering to keep trees vigorous and to correct the "bad habit of cross-branching".
- Hardy to USDA Zone (4)5 Native to Eurasia, an ancient hybrid. A common rootstock for European or French plums.
- Most ornamental selections have "purple-leaves" and flower profusely, the cultivars of "purple-leaf flowering plums" include:
- 'Atropurpurea' - (Pissard Plum) widely popular in the U.S. since the late 1880s, the first "purple leaf plum". Flowers are more white than pink.
- 'Krauter's Vesuvius' - introduced by Carl Krauter, Bakersfield, California in the 1950s. The most common purple leaf plum in southwestern U.S. Similar in appearance to 'Thundercloud', but young leaves are darker red and less bronzy than 'Thundercloud' (Jacobson, 1996). In addition, 'Krauter's Vesuvius' may be more upright and better suited for drier, hotter sites.
- Mt. St. Helens Plum® ('Frankthrees' PP4987) - a sport of 'Newport', reportedly grows faster and develops a stronger trunk, has larger, "richer" leaves, which hold their color longer into summer. Introduced by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.
- 'Newport' - a more cold hardy version, resulting from a cross of P. 'Omaha' × P. cerasifera 'Pissardii', introduced in 1923; named after Newport, Minnesota.
- Purple PonyTM - a seedling derived from an open pollinated 'Krauter's Vesuvius' in the late 1950s. Reportedly a semi-dwarf, limited producer of single pink flowers, which appear as purple leaves are unfolding (Jacobson, 1996).
- 'Thundercloud' - at one time the most widely planted purple leaf plum. More than one clone sold under this name. Currently plants sold as 'Thundercloud' have pink flowers, dark leaves, and purplish plums inside and out (Jacobson, 1996).
- cerasifera: from the Latin cerasus, cherry, and ferre, to bear, thus cherry-bearing, hence one of its common names, Cherry Plum.