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cherry plum, myrobalan, myrobalan plum, purple leaf plum

Habit Trees, sometimes suckering, 40–80 dm, not or slightly thorny.

with axillary end buds, glabrous.



petiole 5–20 mm, glabrous except for a few hairs on adaxial surface, eglandular;

blade ovate, elliptic, or obovate, 3–7 × 1.5–3.5 cm, base obtuse, margins singly to doubly crenate-serrate, teeth blunt, glandular, apex obtuse to acute, abaxial surface hairy along midribs and veins, adaxial glabrous.


usually solitary flowers, sometimes 2-flowered fascicles.


(4–)10–18 mm, glabrous.


blooming before leaf emergence;

hypanthium campanulate, 2–4 mm, glabrous externally;

sepals reflexed to spreading, oblong-ovate, 2–4 mm, margins glandular-toothed to nearly entire, eciliate, abaxial surface glabrous, adaxial hairy at bases;

petals white (reddish pink in cultivars), elliptic to suborbiculate, 7–14 mm;

ovaries glabrous.


purple-red to yellow, sometimes glaucous, ovoid, ellipsoid, or globose, 15–30 mm, glabrous;

mesocarps fleshy;

stones ellipsoid to ovoid, ± to strongly flattened.


= 16.

Prunus cerasifera

Phenology Flowering Feb–Apr; fruiting Jun–Aug.
Habitat Roadsides, stream banks, canyons, chaparral
Elevation 0–900 m (0–3000 ft)
from FNA
CA; ID; MA; MD; NH; NY; OH; OR; PA; WA; BC; ON; se Europe [Introduced in North America]
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The purple-leaved, pink-flowered cultivars of Prunus cerasifera are especially popular for ornamental use. The earliest purple form was introduced into European gardens about 1880 by M. Pissard, gardener to the Shah of Iran. Prunus cerasifera is widely used as a rootstock for commercial plums.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 9, p. 375.
Parent taxa Rosaceae > subfam. Amygdaloideae > tribe Amygdaleae > Prunus
Sibling taxa
P. americana, P. andersonii, P. angustifolia, P. armeniaca, P. avium, P. caroliniana, P. cerasus, P. domestica, P. dulcis, P. emarginata, P. eremophila, P. fasciculata, P. fremontii, P. geniculata, P. glandulosa, P. gracilis, P. havardii, P. hortulana, P. ilicifolia, P. laurocerasus, P. lusitanica, P. mahaleb, P. maritima, P. mexicana, P. minutiflora, P. murrayana, P. myrtifolia, P. nigra, P. padus, P. pensylvanica, P. persica, P. pumila, P. rivularis, P. serotina, P. speciosa, P. spinosa, P. subcordata, P. subhirtella, P. texana, P. tomentosa, P. umbellata, P. virginiana, P. yedoensis
Name authority Ehrhart: Gartenkalender 4: 192. (1784)
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