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Sweetheart Mayday

Prunus padus 'Sweetheart'

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Sweetheart Mayday (Prunus padus 'Sweetheart') at Eagle Lake Nurseries

Sweetheart Mayday flowers

Sweetheart Mayday flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Sweetheart Mayday (Prunus padus 'Sweetheart') at Eagle Lake Nurseries

Sweetheart Mayday in bloom

Sweetheart Mayday in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  12 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  European Bird Cherry, Common Bird Cherry


An eye catching tree featuring long racemes of white flowers from pink buds in spring, followed by tiny purple-black bitter fruit, attractive to birds; leaves emerge green and mature to reddish-purple; best in full sun, can be susceptible to black-knot

Ornamental Features

Sweetheart Mayday features showy racemes of fragrant white flowers with red eyes hanging below the branches in mid spring, which emerge from distinctive pink flower buds before the leaves. It has green foliage with hints of burgundy which emerges coppery-bronze in spring. The serrated pointy leaves do not develop any appreciable fall colour. The deep purple fruits are held in clusters in late summer. The smooth brown bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Sweetheart Mayday is a deciduous tree with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Disease

Sweetheart Mayday is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Sweetheart Mayday will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Shade 
Flowers  Fruit  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features