Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Purpleleaf Sand Cherry

{Picture of Purpleleaf Sand Cherry}

Plant Information

  • Plant Type: Shrub: Medium
  • Scientific Name: Prunus x cistena Play audio of plant name
  • Family: Cherry / Plum
  • Zone: 3
  • Plant Size: 6-8'
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Bloom Color: Pink
  • Habit: Rounded
  • Culture:

    Very adaptable. Tolerates hot, dry conditions. Full sun.

  • Notes:

    Pinkish-white flowers in spring are partially masked by the expanding foliage which is purple throughout the summer. Small purple-black fruit in fall. Tends to be short-lived in the landscape as it often develops an open, irregular and leggy habit. Its parentage is often incorrectly listed: actually a hybrid of western sand cherry (P. besseyi) and purple leaf plum (P. cerasifera 'Atropurpurea') .

  • Pruning:Pruning animation

    Renewal pruning is accomplished by removing the largest, oldest stems (generally 1/4 to 1/3 of the total stems) as close to the ground as possible. This will stimulate new shoots to develop below the cuts which will fill in the plant creating a more dense and pleasing habit.

    Renewal pruning should be done when the plant is dormant, late fall to early spring.

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Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Bill Hoch, Associate Professor
Montana State University

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