Prunus cerasifera 'Krauter Vesuvius'
Common Name: cherry plum
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy, Edible


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Best flowering and purple leaf color occur in full sun locations. Leaves become green in shady locations.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus cerasifera is commonly called cherry plum. It is native to western Asia and the Caucasus. 'Krauter Vesuvius' is purple-leaved cultivar that typically grows as a dense, upright-rounded tree to 15-20' tall. It is a very popular ornamental landscape tree, in large part because its showy purple foliage and its profuse spring bloom of pink flowers. Serrate, ovate to elliptic leaves (to 2.5” long) emerge deep red in spring, but mature to dark reddish-purple. Foliage retains excellent color throughout the growing season. Fragrant, 5-petaled, light pink flowers (to 3/4” across) bloom abundantly in early spring (April) before the foliage emerges. Flowers are followed by small edible fruits (purple plums to 1” diameter). 'Krauter Vesuvius' is very similar in appearance to P. cerasifera 'Thundercloud', except its immature leaves are a slightly darker red. Ceracifera is derived from the Latin words cerasus (cherry tree) and ferre (to bear). Introduced into cultivation by Karl Krauter of Krauter Nursery in Bakersfield, California in 1957.


Susceptible to a large number of insect and disease pests. Potential diseases include black knot, canker, leaf spot, die back, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot, brown rot, fireblight and vericillium wilt. Potential insects include borers, aphids, scale, leafhoppers, caterpillars, tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles. Spider mites may also be troublesome. Fruit drop can sometimes create a litter problem.

Garden Uses

This purple-leaved cultivar is commonly planted as a landscape specimen or in small groups.