Prunus - - Semi-mature and mature Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra'

02 9652 0300


Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra' - Purple Leafed Plum, Black Cherry Plum





South western Asia

Plant Type:

Deciduous tree


6 - 8m x 3 - 4m

Habit/ Form:

A short trunked tree with a vase shaped branch pattern, the canopy forming a rounded crown.


Alternate, elliptic / ovate, 40 - 70mm x 20 - 40mm, margin serrate, dark reddish purple, with little colour change in autumn.


Rotate, 25mm across, singles only, faintly perfumed, pale shell pink with prominent stamens on short spur branches, the most vigorous spurs are on one and two year old wood. Main flowering late winter and early spring.


An edible reddish / green plum (20mm x 18mm) ripening in summer.

Bark / Trunk:

The bark on the young stems is purple, becoming grey brown and furrowed with age.

Vigour / Longevity:

Moderately vigorous, long lived

Environmental Requirements:

Best in a sunny, wind protected position.


Can tolerate frosts to - 10°C, and neglect once established, (not as attractive if neglected).

Soil / Drainage:

Best growth on moist, fertile, well drained soils, will tolerate moderately fertile soils but is less vigorous.


Prune after flowering. These trees flower on spurs so it is not necessary to shorten the one year old wood to encourage vigorous regrowth, the aim is to maintain a canopy of healthy flowering branches. Thin out the centre of the tree for better air penetr


Keep evenly moist for best growth and flower wood production. Will survive in an average year with extra water in dry summers.


Fertilise with a complete fertiliser after flowering, may not be necessary once established

Pests / Diseases:

Moth borer on old or sick plants.


Flower and foliage colour contrast trees, street trees, spring gardens, avenue trees and small shade tree.



© Text reproduced here with the kind permission of Tony Wilson and Barck Books.



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