Cherry plum
(Prunus cerasifera)
Simple
Roundish
Alternate
Toothed
blunt teeth

leaves

Winter twig
Winter twig

flowers

fruits

distribution map

The leaves are oval, alternate, 3-7 cm long, hairless and glossy above, but usually with hairs on the lower part of the midrib beneath, at least when young. The leaf-stalks are 5-10mm long.

ID check

Cherry Plum is a deciduous much-branched tree, up to 7.5 m tall and freely suckering, with a smooth, dark bark, which becomes crinkled with age. It has been widely introduced into hedges and as an ornamental tree. Young twigs are often green unlike Blackthorn.

Pure white flowers appear in late February or early March, long before the leaves.

The 5-petalled flowers occur singly or, occasionally, in pairs on short stalks, 5-15 mm long.

The fruit, spherical, yellow or reddish, is cherry sized, but is only produced in favourable years.

Facts

  • A form with pinkish flowers and purple leaves is very commonly grown in gardens or as a street tree.

  • It is one of the parents of the cultivated plums and greengages.

  • It is a native from Russian Central Asia and Iran, through the Caucasus to the Baltic peninsula

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