The Cherry Plum is a thorny shrub or small tree and is frequently planted in urban areas because it is one of the first trees to come into flower in the spring. It is also known as the Myrobalan Plum. It is native to a region from the Balkans to central Asia and has been cultivated in Britain from the 16th century. The word “Myrobalan” was originally used for the sharp-tasting fruit of an Asian tree before it was applied to this plum.
Its white flowers come out before the leaves in early March. It is often confused with the Blackthorn, which has almost identical flowers. The flower of the Cherry Plum is bigger than that of the Blackthorn but apart from that they are very similar. However, the Plum is the earliest to flower (usually in March) and the blackthorn flowers four weeks later in April. To learn more about a comparison between Cherry Plum, Blackthorn and Wild Cherry flowers click HERE
Tree in August
The fruit in July. The plum is yellow or red and can be eaten raw or used in cooking.
There is a cultivar of the Cherry Plum called Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ which looks similar and flowers at the same time but has pink flowers and purple leaves.