Wild types are large shrubs or small trees reaching 6-15 meters tall, with deciduous leaves 4 to 6 centimeters long.
Prunus cerasifera is a popular ornamental tree for garden and landscaping use, grown for its very early flowering. Numerous cultivars have been developed, many of them selected for purple foliage. They can have white or pink flowers.
Fruit are flavorful and tart, used in preserves, pies and desserts.