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Cherry Plum purple (Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra') 1Cherry Plum purple (Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra') 1Cherry Plum purple (Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra') 2Cherry Plum purple (Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra') 3

Purple-Leaved Cherry Trees, Large

Prunus cerasifera Nigra (Standard)Plant guarantee for 1 yearFeefo logo

The details

Delivered in Large Sizes
  • Final height/spread: 8m x 6m
  • Foliage: deciduous, deep purple
  • Features: spring blossom, richly coloured foliage
  • Soil: well drained
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
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£ 64.98

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Prunus cerasifera Nigra: Purple Leaf Cherry Plum Trees in Standard Sizes

The tough and beautiful Prunus cerasifera Nigra, the purple or black cherry plum, is a famous inner city choice, with its reliability in poor soils, spectacular spring blossom and great foliage colour. It's one of the first cherries to flower, sometimes coming into bud in late February in warm urban areas. The buds open into blush-pink, single flowers, contrasted against rich burgundy-black-purple stems. Soon, glossy, pale copper new leaves emerge, which mature to deep purple, then fire up to rich reds and orange in autumn, providing interest throughout most of the year. In the winter months its dense mushroom-shaped crown brings pleasing structure.
Browse our other ornamental cherry trees.

It does bear fruit, although not regularly. The juicy red plums are sweet, and are better for making jam than eating fresh.

Delivery season: Cherry plums are delivered bareroot during late autumn and winter, approximately November-March inclusive.
Choosing a size: Small trees are cheaper, easier to handle and more forgiving of less than ideal aftercare, so they are best for a big planting project. If instant impact is your priority, or if you are only buying a few plants for use in a place where it is convenient to water them well in their first year, then you may as well use bigger ones. All our bareroot trees are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).


  • Final height/spread: 8m x 6m
  • Foliage: deciduous, deep purple
  • Use: specimen, street tree
  • Pink spring blossom can start in Feb. March-April is normal.
  • Richly coloured foliage in spring, summer and autumn
  • Soil: well drained
  • Native: no
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Growing Purple Leaf Cherry Plum Trees

Give it a bit of sun, plant on soil that's not waterlogged, and it will grow. It will tolerate all but the toughest of conditions. It's shallow rooted, so it's ideal on streets and next to structures: town planners love it.

It's a gorgeous small tree, perfect for small and medium gardens, where it will give you good screening planted in front of a shed or outbuildings. It makes a brilliant specimen, or a subject for an avenue of trees: imagine tree after tree covered in blossom in early spring. Underplant your tree with plenty of early spring bulbs for a fabulous show in March. Choose crocus bulbs in pale and interesting shades to complement the tree's soft-pink blossom, dark bark, and mature leaves.

Did You Know?

Cerasi- means cherry, and the ending -fera means to carry or bear something, like an aqui-fer bears water (see also Christopher), and Nigra is black.
Bred in the USA in 1916, it is also sold as Prunus Blaze or Pissardii Nigra.

Standard trees are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level: their trunk's waist measurement. Unlike sapling trees and hedge plants, standards aren't measured by their height, which will vary quite a bit both between and within species.
So, a 6/8cm standard tree has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8cm and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10cm around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
On average, standard trees are 2-3.5 metres tall when they arrive, but we cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.

Planting Instructions

Notes on planting Prunus cerasifera Nigra trees:
Prunus cerasifera Nigra is a very hardy tree that will grow on pretty much any soil with average drainage. They like heavy clay, as long as the site doesn't become waterlogged in winter. They are good to grow on chalky soil.
They are tolerant of partial shade, although they will produce the best fruit in full sun.
We don't recommend them for exposed, windy sites, where they will be blown out of shape by the wind.

Prepare your site before planting:
It is good to dig over the site where you plant a tree several months in advance. Kill the weeds first: for tough weeds like nettles, brambles and ground elder, you will usually need a weed-killer to get rid of them. When you dig the soil over, remove stones and other rubbish and mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.

Watch our video on how to plant a tree for full instructions.
Remember to water establishing trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.

Tree Planting accessories:
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Neudorff WeedFree Plus.
You can buy a tree planting pack with a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a mulch mat with pegs to protect the soil around the base of your tree from weeds and drying out.
We suggest that you use mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of all newly planted large trees: if your soil quality is poor, we strongly recommend it.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.