Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’

18 Mar

Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra' (16/04/11, Walworth, London)

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ (16/04/11, Walworth, London)

Position: Full sun

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Early spring

Eventual Height: 10m

Eventual Spread: 8m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Rosaceae

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’, sometimes referred to as Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii Nigra’ is a deciduous tree with a rounded habit. The leaves are a deep purple when young, maturing to a dark green. The inflorescence is in the form of solitary, bowl shaped pink flowers which appear before the leaves. These are followed in autumn by edible, dark red and spherical fruit.

Prunus cerasifera 'nigra' flowers (13/03/2011, Walworth, London)

Prunus cerasifera ‘nigra’ flowers (13/03/2011, Walworth, London)

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’, commonly known as the black cherry plum. The species Prunus cerasifera is native to parts of Europe and Asia.

The etymological root of the binomial name Prunus is from the classical name of the plum tree. Cerasifera from the Latin cerasi meaning cherry and fera meaning wild. ‘Nigra’ is from the Latin meaning black in reference to the dark early foliage.

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ is useful to the landscape architect as a low maintenance, spring flowering fruiting tree. It also forms an interesting purple hedge or screen.

Ecologically,  Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ is attractive to early insects (including bees) for its nectar and birds which consume its fruit.

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ Leaf (12/09/2015, Walworth, London)

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ Leaf (12/09/2015, Walworth, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society have given  Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate waterlogged soils.

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ Bark (12/09/2015, Walworth, London)

Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ Bark (12/09/2015, Walworth, London)

Prunus cerasifera  ‘Nigra’ requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out after flowering, from April to July to minimise the risk of Silver leaf infection. If being maintained as a hedge care must be taken to not prune too much as Prunus plants generally are highly susceptible to disease via the above mentioned route.

Davis Landscape Architecture



One Response to “Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’”


  1. Spring Tree Blossom | rambling ratz - 20/03/2014

    […] beautiful copper coloured leaves which darken to purple. For the landscape architects out there here is a link to more […]

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