Sapalta Cherry-Plum
Sapalta Cherry-Plum
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Sapalta Cherry-Plum

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Prunus 'Sapalta'

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight: Sun

Hardiness Zone:  3a


A cross between a sandcherry and a plum, produces sweet reddish-purple plum-like fruit, great for canning and jam, ornamental white flowers in spring; very hardy sprawling shrub, ideal for the home orchard; needs full sun and well-drained soil

Edible Qualities

Sapalta Cherry-Plum is a large shrub that is commonly grown for its edible qualities. It produces purple round fruit (technically 'drupes') with red overtones and deep purple flesh which are usually ready for picking in late summer. Note that the fruits have hard inedible pits inside which must be removed before eating or processing. The fruits have a tart taste and a firm texture.

The fruit are most often used in the following ways:

  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Preserves
  • Juice-Making

Features & Attributes

Sapalta Cherry-Plum is smothered in stunning clusters of fragrant white flowers along the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has forest green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn yellow in fall. The fruits are showy purple drupes with red overtones, which are carried in abundance in late summer. The fruit can be messy if allowed to drop on the lawn or walkways, and may require occasional clean-up.

This is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Sapalta Cherry-Plum is sutiable for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Orchard/Edible Landscaping

Planting & Growing

Sapalta Cherry-Plum will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years. This variety requires a different selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

This shrub is typically grown in a designated area of the yard because of its mature size and spread. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.