Japanese flowering plum trees, known botanically as Prunus cerasifera, are grown primarily for their early spring flowers, but many cultivars will on occasion produce fruit. Also commonly known as cherry plum, Japanese flowering plums are less demanding of soil conditions than flowering cherry species and will tolerate wet soils with equanimity. Native to Asia, cerasifera cultivars are hardy down to USDA Zone 4b, reach a maximum height of between 20 and 30 feet and with a 20-year lifespan.
Atropurpurea is a pink flowering plum with early spring blooms. The leaves change color as they mature, beginning as a deep red, then turning a dark reddish eggplant color in the late summer, followed by a bronze green hue in fall. It produces plum fruits suitable for eating in the summer. Its height at maturity is 30 feet.
Thundercloud is a pink flowering Japanese plum whose fragrant flowers open on bare branches before the leaves unfurl. It has purple leaves all season and will produce fruit sporadically. It reaches a height of 20 feet at maturity.
Newport is thought to be the most cold tolerant of the species and will grow in the northern-most states including Minnesota and New England. It produces pink flowers in the early spring and has deep-purple-hued leaves throughout the growing season. Newport will develop purple-skinned fruits in summer and reaches approximately 20 feet in height at maturity.