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When it begins to feel truly wonderful to be outside, the birds are singing, and cherries and daffodils are blooming away, look to Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum to join in on the festivities. All along its purple branches will sprout blush-pink blossoms to cheer spring's arrival. Even if it didn't flower, though, this fast-growing ornamental tree would be a colorful addition to your landscape with its rich burgundy foliage that lasts all season. Growing a bit taller than wide to a height of only about 20 feet, Thundercloud Plum will make an impact in your landscape without hogging the whole yard, too. You might want to get two or three!
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
- Spacing: 15-20'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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Purple Leaf Plums were brought to France in 1880 from Persia (what is modern-day Iran). From there, this novel purple plant spread to the rest of Europe and the U.S. ‘Thundercloud’ was developed in California in 1919 by the famous plant breeder Luther Burbank. Burbank gifted the world with over 800 plant varieties, including new strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries; scores of new fruit and nut trees; new roses, lilies, and poppies; the Shasta Daisy; and the forerunner to the number-one French fry potato still used today: the Russet Burbank!
The dense deep purple-red foliage makes this tree stand out in any landscape. Just imagine your driveway lined with Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum - now that will attract some attention! The foliage color remains all season but is highlighted by the pale pink fragrant blooms appearing in spring. This Plum also produces some small purple berries in fall, a special little treat for birds and other small animals.
How to Grow
Many red-leaved plants fade to reddish-green in summer, but Purple Leaf Plums—Thundercloud included—hold their deep crimson color from spring clear through fall. Those rich burgundy leaves look great with just about any color scheme. Thundercloud is a fast growing tree that has considerable drought tolerance once established. This variety does produce a lot of little plums (edible, so you don’t have to worry about the kids eating them), and you may not want to place this tree near sidewalks, as the plums can be rather messy when they fall.
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Size C Trees:
10-12' Tall. Grown in our #20 or #25 tree container. This tree is large and will make an impact on your landscape immediately.
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