Purpleleaf Sand Cherry

Prunus x cistena

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

▲▼ flowering plants in spring

▲▼ red foliage and pink flowers

▲ flowers

▲ summer plant

Location on campus: in garden area on north side of  Meyer Library and south of Kings Street Annex

Prunus x cistena: Purpleleaf Sandcherry

leaves alternate, simple, ovate with serrate margins; 1-3" long and 1/2 as wide, deep reddish purple throughout their presence, with small glands near base of leaf blade where it joins the petiole

stems slender, purplish-red when young, becoming gray-brown with age, with prominent lenticels

flowers single in axils of leaves, about -1 inche diameter, pinkish-white, appearing after foliage has emerged in late April to early May; flowers often fragrant

grows 7 to 10 feet tall and 2 as wide in upright shrub shape; often has stout, vigorous vertical shoots arising from older wood

prefers full sun to part-shade, moist-well-drained soil

may get serious leaf disease that causes leaf drop

prefers colder climates and looks, does better there than here; usually not tolerant of Zone 8 or warmer

medium to fast growth rate and can be cut back severely (if done properly) to maintain a smaller, more dense shrub shape; generally a relatively short-lived shrub in Missouri due to numerous insect and disease ailments that can attack it