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Common Name:

Purpleleaf Plum

Scientific Name:

Prunus cerasifera

Family Name:



Purpleleaf Plum is a short-lived small tree that is planted primarily for its red-purple foliage and white to pink-white spring flowers. Cultivars vary in foliage coloration from nearly green to nearly purple, select a known cultivar to ensure the desired effect. Prone to a number of serious pests and diseases.

Plant Habit or Use:

Small tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

White to pinkish white, moderately effective compared to other Prunus spp.

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Small plum, size varies with cultivar, some are edible


15 ft to 20 ft (25 ft)


10 ft to 15 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Short-lived in Texas, borers and cotton root rot can be limiting factors.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.