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Prunus cerasifera 'Atropurpurea' is a shrub to a small tree in the rose family that grows 15-25 feet tall and wide with a vase to a rounded shape. The reddish-purple leaves are the attraction to this plant along with the showy white to pink spring flowers, with a honey-like fragrance. The leaves maintain their colour most of the year. They are fairly short-lived and susceptible to insects and diseases. Twigs and fruit drop can be messy. Purpleleaf plum isn't picky about soil type or pH and is moderately drought tolerant once established. Leaf colour is best when grown in full sun.
The tree porduces 2 to 4 cm fleshy fruits, which are reddish-purple drupes. They are produced prolifically and are edible by wildlife and humans. They make excellent jam and can be pickled.