Subordinate Taxa
Scientific Name:
Prunus cerasifera Ehrh. (1785)
Vernacular Name(s):
cherry plum; Myrobalan; Purple-leaf plum

Deciduous shrub or small tree up to 8 m high when mature, with numerous spiny branches mainly on lower vegetative shoots; trunk short; secondary branches ± erect. Lf petiole 6–12–(20) mm long, glabrous; blade thin, narrowly obovate to elliptic or broadly elliptic, (30)–40–80 × (13)–15–45 mm, usually green, sometimes purple or bronzy purple, ± shining, subacute to apiculate, cuneate at base, glabrous above, glabrous below but lower ⅓ of midrib sometimes densely pilose (lamina of young lvs sometimes ± pilose below), serrulate with teeth blunt or with a short cusp; stipules short, triangular, deciduous. Fls solitary although usually closely spaced, or in clusters of 2–(4) on short shoots, not fragrant, pendent or spreading; pedicels 5–14–(25) mm long, glabrous. Hypanthium broad; sepals oblong, 1.5–3 mm long, obtuse, glabrous except on inner face, becoming reflexed, mostly green but sometimes purplish, with marginal stalked glands. Petals usually 5, spreading, orbicular, 6–11 mm diam., rounded and undulate, white or occasionally pink. Stamens slightly < or = petals; filaments pale. Fr. (10)–15–30 mm long, usually subglobose or ± broadly ovoid, sometimes globose, somewhat sulcate, glabrous, yellow to orange-red or scarlet, sometimes dark crimson, slightly pruinose, sweet; stone smooth.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]

Number of subspecific taxa in New Zealand within Prunus cerasifera Ehrh.
Exotic: Casual1

Flowering: Aug.–Sep.; Fruiting: Nov.–Jan.

Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42.