About Cherry plums
Sold out for 2019!
Cherry plums are crosses between the sand cherry (Prunus besseyi) and various plums. They are very hardy since they can withstand our severe Minnesota winters. They are small trees (6-8 ft.). They are more resistant to drought and late spring frosts than either cherries or plums. Cherry plums yield a small, plum-like fruit that can be eaten fresh. Cross pollination is necessary so we have two varieties: Sapalta and Deep Purple. Both varieties are good eaten fresh, and can be processed into jams and sauces. We sourced our cherry plum trees from a local nursery. We harvest about 60 lb of cherry plums in a good year, so we don’t have a lot to sell. So mostly, we make Cherry Plum Jam or Cherry Blue Jam from these unusual fruits. If you don’t see them listed, just email us.
This nearly freestone fruit has dark purple skin and flesh, with a juicy sweet flavor.
Ripening in mid-August, this variety has deep purple skin and flesh similar to Sapalta. The fruits are over 1″ in size and have small pits. Fruits are sweet with a pleasant plum-cherry flavor.
Common Name: Cherry Plum
Scientific Name: Prunus cerasifera
Figure 1 (blooming)
Figure 2 (not blooming)
Leaves: Its leaves are a solid green color with little fine hairs on the underside of the leaf. It is slender and has a glossy sheen to it on the upper side. They have an oval shape with little grooves on the edges. Their average size is about 3-7 cm (1.5-2.5 inches).
Twigs and Bark: The bark is a dark brown color. Its texture is very smooth and becomes crinkly as it matures. It is relatively thin and can be damaged easily from mechanical impact. The twigs are very thin and are also a brown color that contain the fruit and flowers. They are mostly grown upright and will not droop.
Flowers: The flowers of the cherry plum tree are very beautiful and have either a white or pale pink color. They contain five petals with many stamens. The flowers typically appear and bloom in the spring (late February or March). Their average size is about 2 cm (0.8 inches) across.
Fruits: The fruits are red or yellow color and are shaped like a cherry. They are edible and have a fairly sweet taste. Once pollinated by insects, the flowers of the cherry plum tree turn into the fruits (early July to mid-September) and grow abundantly throughout the tree. Each fruit contains one seed. Their average size is about 2-3 cm (0.8-1.2 inches) in diameter.
Where It’s From
Native Range: The cherry plum tree is native to southeastern Europe (i.e Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Yugoslavia), western Asia (i.e Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, southern Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan), western China, and Pakistan. There are also many scattered in locations of North America. The cherry plum tree is widely naturalized in Southern Australia (i.e naturalized in eastern New South Wales, in the ACT, Victoria, south-eastern and eastern South Australia, and the coastal districts of south-western Western Australia). It is also naturalized in Europe, tropical Asia, New Zealand and the USA.
Figure 11. Black areas represent where the cherry plum tree is found in the U.K
Figure 12. Shaded area represents potential planting range of cherry plum tree in the U.S
The cherry plum tree has a short average lifespan of about 20 years. It grows well in average, medium moisture, in full sun to part shade. It is also drought tolerant and needs well-drained moist, acidic soils. The best time the cherry plum tree begins flowering is when it is exposed to full sun. It is susceptible to diseases such as cankers, galls, and mildew. Possible pests that may attack the cherry plum tree are tent caterpillars, scale, aphids, tent, Japanese beetles, and clearwing borers, more specifically peach tree borers. However, these pests don’t do that much damage to the tree. Another pest, spider mites, may appear during prolonged drought periods. The fruits of the cherry plum tree are also an important part. Although it can be tasty, it can have a bitter taste. It has been said that it can cause health issues if a large amount is consumed.
What We Use It For
The cherry plum tree can be used for many resources. One example is that it can be used for medicinal purposes. The flowers are used in Bach flower remedies and are used to help regain one’s control over one’s thoughts and actions. It contains certain substances that break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid. This helps stimulates the body’s respiration, improves digestion, and overall improves the body’s health. The cherry plum tree is considered a popular ornamental landscape tree due to its unique color that grows throughout the season, that can be placed out on the deck or patio. However, it is advised that the tree is best used in a large-scale landscape as a single specimen, rather than in rows or mass planting. Another example is for food. The cherry plum trees’ fruits are edible and contain a good source of nutrition value that have potassium, calcium, phosphate, vitamin B and C, that are great for the body’s metabolism and nervous system. It can also be cooked and used for delicious pies, jams, tarts, etc. Last but not least, the cherry plum tree can also be used for coloring dye from the leaves and fruits.
Alyssa Lee ‘21, BIOL 238: Evolution, Ecology, & Behavior, Spring 2019
Verry Cherry Plum
A delicious new fruit that has been winning over consumers since 2011.
The Verry Cherry Plum is a delicious new hybrid fruit that is a cross between multiple varieties of cherries and plums. This proprietary variety is exclusive to The Flavor Tree Fruit Company LLC and has an outstanding following among consumers. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to keep up with all the fan mail, phone calls, and e-mails that we receive in season.
Verry Cherry Plum is the size of a small plum, which is a portion size that is very popular with parents. The unique flavor appeals to an educated palate, but the sweetness, crunchiness, juiciness and attractiveness of the fruit makes it a sure sell with the kids! The subtle combinations of flavors combined with the punch of 21-22 degrees brix* makes this an outstanding mid-summer treat!
We offer the Verry Cherry Plum in clamshells and will soon be introducing a branded high-graphic stand-up PLU pouchbag. We also offer loose pack volume fill cartons for specialty retailers who prefer that presentation.
This fruit is a hit around the world! Retailers in America, China, England and Singapore can’t get enough of them! Our program is growing and we would like to grow this with you. Be sure to visit our Facebook page where you can see consumer responses to our product, and also visit our consumer webpage at www.verrycherryplum.com.
People are starting to get used to the idea of a plum-apricot hybrid called a pluot or plumcot. They seem to overtaking the standard plum in popularity. And why not? They are better than most of the plums we find in the store. Companies like Kingsburg Orchards are leading the way with their “dinosaur fruit” – pluots labeled with dinosaurs on the stickers and on bags. So with that in mind are you ready for another hybrid – this time the plum is meeting with the ever so lovely and popular cherry. Yes the marriage of cherry and plum has happened and their offspring is beginning to show up in clamsells containers nationwide. The particular one I am going to talk about today is the CherriYum (Cherry Plums) grown by Phillips Farms. Once you take a bite you will know why yum is in the name.
What Does a CherriYum or Cherry Plum Taste Like?
cherry plums taste as good as they sound. The flavor is dominated by plum. Most poeple would assume that they are just small plums. Cherry plums have a rich, sweet taste. I love them. To me the flavor doesn’t scream cherry but it does make me want to yell out to everyone who good these are. The fruit itself is smaller in size than most plums, and the pits are also smaller than your average plum, so more fruit per square inch to enjoy. As you see from the photos the plums is a beautiful red on the outside and yellow inside.
When are CherriYums Available?
They have a limited season. Expect to find them in July, althought I have still seem them in stores in early August. I only saw them in two stores with $3.99 for a 1 pound clamsell container being the cheapest price. If you can’t find the CherriYum brand you may find cherry plums under different labeling and packaging, more on that in a moment.
Are CherriYums non-GMO?
Nowadays it seems whenever I mention to someone that something is a cross between this and that, they get worried about whether the food is genetically modified. Cherry plums are not. The plum and cherry are close relatives. They are in the same genius, Prunus. They were created by pollinating a plum variety with pollen from a cherry variety. It’s a process that may take years and multiple generations may go by until a piece of fruit is grown that is of excellent quality.
Who Grows CherriYums?
These particular cherry plums marketed as CherriYums were grown by Philips Farms in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley. They have more than one different stone fruit variety that you won’t believe – the Peacotums which equals (PEAch, ApriCOT, and PlUMS) is available during the month of August.
If you look at the top right corner of this collage you will see the Verry Cherry Plums. These were all produce items I found during a July visit to Mariano’s in Chicago.
Other Types of Cherry Plums
You may also find the Verry Cherry Plum grown by the The Flavor Tree Fruit Company. These are equally good in flavor. I found them during trip to Chicago at Mariano’s. I also heard you can find them at Central Market in Texas, Brennan’s Country Farm Markets in Wisconsin, H-E-B Supermarkets, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs. Watch for them during the same time as CherriYum.
- native to Asia
- hardy to zone 5, and warmer parts of 4
Habit and Form
- a small, deciduous tree
- 15′ to 28′ tall
- similar spread
- upright, spreading habit
- rounded crown
- medium texture
- moderate to fast growth rate
- alternate leaf arrangement
- simple, deciduous leaves
- serrate margins
- obovate leaf shape
- 1.5″ to 2.5″ long
- pointed tip
- pubescent midribs
- bright green leaf color
- if present glands occur near leaf base
- not ornamentally important
- pinkish, white flowers
- up to 1″ long
- blooms before leaves emerge
- reddish drupe
- 1″ in diameter
- matures in late summer
- attracts birds
- not ornamentally important
- not ornamentally important
- dark, reddish brown
- full sun
- prefers well-drained, acidic soil
- drought tolerant
- transplant in Spring
- prune after flowers
- small shade tree
- cultivar for purple leaf color
- short-lived, 20 years
- aphids, borers, scale, tent caterpillars
- canker, leaf spot
- does not like compacted soil
- small, deciduous tree
- alternate leaf arrangement
- serrulate leaf margins
- possibly glands on petiole
- pubescent midrib
- pinkish, white flowers
- round, fleshy fruit
- cultivars by cuttings
- by seed
‘Atropurpurea’ (also known as ‘Pissardii’) – This is the original selection (1880), also known as “Pissard Plum”. It features reddish-purple foliage and light pink blooms. It is of questionable hardiness in USDA zone 4 and colder. Many named selections have arisen from this plant.
‘Mt. St. Helens’ – A sport of ‘Newport’, this cultivar appears to grow more strongly. The main trunk is sturdier and straighter, plus the plant grows more vigorously. It reaches 20′ tall and wide with larger leaves of a deeper purple color.
‘Newport’ – Considered the most hardy form, this selection out of Minnesota forms a rounded, 15′-20′ tall tree with light pink blooms in early spring. The foliage retains its dark purple coloration all season and the plant produces purplish fruit. It is probably the best choice for cold New England climates, though purple-leaved plants such as this are thoroughly overused.
‘Thundercloud’ – This is the most popular selection and is very common in commerce. It forms a 20′ tall and wide rounded tree with lustrous deep purple foliage all season. The slightly fragrant, pink blossoms emerge with or slightly before the foliage. As with all the purple-leaved plums, this tree has been used to the point of monotony in landscapes.