Prunus cerasifera

Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: None known

Common names: cherry plum; Myrobalan plum; Pissard plum; purpleleaf plum

Prunus cerasifera (cherry plum) is a deciduous tree (family Rosaceae). It is an ornamental plant that has escaped cultivation, so it is often found near towns and along roadsides, as well as in chaparral, woodland, and riparian areas. Cherry plum’s yellow to dark red fruits are distributed widely by people, birds, raccoons, and other wildlife. Although cherry plum trees may crowd out some native trees and shrubs, they usually grow quite sparsely, and so have a lesser impact than plants that grow in dense patches. Control cannot be achieved by simply cutting trees down, as the plant will resprout from trunks and roots.

Rating: Limited

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

    Other Resources

    • USDA PLANTS database -
      Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
    • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
    • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
    • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.

    Symposium Presentations

    • Dempsey, J. and W. Elliott (2005). Invasive plant control at California State Parks in the northern Sacramento Valley. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
    • Hunter, J. C., J. C. Sterling, et al. (2003). The abundance and distribution of non-native woody species in Sacramento Valley riparian zones. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2003. Kings Beach, CA.

    Cal-IPC News Articles

    • None for this species.