Sand Cherries: A Unique & Small Native

Sand Cherries: A Unique & Small Native

sand cherry header

Need a pretty flowering deciduous shrub that is rugged, has edible fruit for you and the birds, plus features silvery foliage and shining white blooms? The Sand Cherry Shrub is all that and more!

Read on to learn more about this native treasure!

Sand Cherry Shrubs (Prunus) are a smaller Cherry tree relative that - in addition to the heralds regarding its character above - also displays sweetly fragrant flowers for pollinators and lovely foliage color too!

Spring starts with drifts of sparkling pure white (sometimes pinkish), Pollinator-friendly blossoms that look gorgeous in the landscape! Sand Cherries are wonderfully fragrant pink or white flowers. Both native bees and beneficial insects love the pollen they carry, and pollinators and butterflies love the ample nectar.

sand cherry bush

All growing season, these deciduous shrubs carry an energetic space-saving form! The Purpleleaf Sand Cherry, Great Lakes Sand Cherry, and Western Sand Cherry can be maintained as larger upright shrubs. Pawnee Buttes® and Jade Parade® are both low, spreading more groundcover-like shrubs super useful in sunny well-drained areas.

These shrubs have either purple-red foliage or silvery sage green leaves that are small and finely textured, filling out the entire form that is often rounded to low-growing depending on the variety!

Then, you and your songbirds will anticipate the juicy crop of Cherry-like dark berries that are rich and flavorful with a tart flavor! Related to Aronia, if you can beat the birds to the summer harvest, you will have plenty of fresh eating snacks and treats, or process into preserves and bake into pies or sauces!

Birds adore these shrubs as much as you will for their double-duty fruiting ornamental beauty and nesting shelter and cover!

Sand Cherry Varieties Available At Nature Hills

white sand cherry

There are tree-form Sand Cherry’s and shrub-form varieties for you to choose from! We have the Purpleleaf Sandcherry as a single-stem tree form available as well. All are fantastic shrubs that will enhance your landscape beautifully! Wildlife will make use of any fruit that these plants produce if you don’t hurry and make jam, jelly, juice, or baked goods from your harvest!

Purpleleaf Sand Cherry

The purely ornamental Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Tree is a gorgeous single-stemmed tree form of the shrub that is grafted on a straight standard (trunk). The purple leaves and white petalled blooms have a rosy tint on rosy purple-red stems for an overall pinkish effect in the landscape!

Both the Purpleleaf tree and shrub have a dramatic show throughout USDA planting zones: 4-8 for the tree and zones 4-7 for the shrub! These may be related but Purpleleaf Sand Cherry is native to Asia and not the States.

Pawnee Buttes® Western Sand Cherry

The Pawnee Buttes® Western Sand Cherry Bush features fragrant pinkish-white blooms, edible purple-black fruit, and dramatic fall color! Low-growing but wide-spreading, Pawnee Buttes® has silvery foliage with a lovely gloss! Fall brings on vibrant ruby-red foliage to end the season. These Growing Zones 3-8 cultivars retain all the hardiness of their native counterparts!

Great Lakes Sand Cherry

The Great Lakes Sand Cherry are hardy natives with silvery foliage, fragrant white blooms with yellowish centers, and rich tart fruit. Extremely drought and cold-hardy, Great Lakes Sand Cherry can be variable in size, ranging between 2 -6 feet tall and wide. Growing throughout USDA planting zones 2 to 8, these are highly adaptable shrubs! These also handle a bit more shade than other varieties.

Western Sand Cherry

The Western Sand Cherry is a native with sparkling white blossoms and silvery foliage. Handling the sandier, drier, and more xeric conditions throughout USDA planting zones 3 to 6, these are wonderfully cold-hardy fruiting shrubs that grow 5-6 feet in height and width! In their native environment, Western Sand Cherry bushes can be low growing and spreading, but in the garden border, can be while-flowering upright shrubs!

First Editions® Jade Parade® Sand Cherry

sand cherry care

The fancy cultivar of the family, First Editions® Jade Parade® Sand Cherry bushes are incredible groundcover plants with blue-green leaves! The long kinetic branching can be pruned or left to grow in fluffy round mounds that are filled with glorious white-scented blooms and later have dark red cherry-like fruit for you or the birds too! The mix of fall colors becomes a riotous mixture of yellow, orange, and red!

Caring For Sand Cherry Bushes

These deciduous shrubs are highly adaptable to various soil types and climates! Cold-hardy, you’ll get the best show of blooms and fruit set in full sun, but a few varieties handle partial shade.

Typically xeric and hardy plants, Sand Cherry thrive in some tough conditions in nature, but these native and hybrid plants also do well in average garden conditions! Purpleleaf Sand Cherry appreciates regular moisture access to keep them looking their healthiest.

Like most plants, these hardy natives need well-drained soil and average fertility. Sand Cherries thrive in harsher conditions due to their deep root system, enabling established plants to survive drought, poor soil, sandy or rocky locations. Provide a layer of mulch to help insulate the roots and support their moisture needs.

These plants bloom in the spring so to get maximum bloom displays, prune right after they have finished blooming. You can also renewal prune every 3-5 years to keep the branching vigorous and remove older branches that are less productive.

  • Full Sun & Some Part Shade
  • Well-Drained Soil & Handles Poor Soil
  • Moderate to Low Moisture Needs - Drought Tolerant Once Established
  • Prune After Flowering or Renewal Prune Every 3-5 Years
  • Xeric, Hardy & Cold-Tolerant

Sweet Little Sand Cherry Shrubs

The Prunus family has over 400 species growing in just the Northern hemisphere and includes Almonds, Nectarines, Peaches, Apricots, Cherry, Aronia, and Plum trees! Grown not just for their beauty but for the gorgeous flowers and tasty fruit they produce!

Sand Cherries are grown more for their ornamental qualities and not for the fruit but they are still fantastic additions to your edible landscaping orchards and supporting native ecosystems!

Nature Hills has a wide selection of these hardy bushes for you to choose from so check out each and order yours today!

Happy Planting!

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