About 17 years ago, I was visiting a garden and greatly admired a large shrub that had narrow, reddish purple leaves. The generous creator of that garden told me it was a purple-leaved peach (Prunus persica) and that it came true from seed; then she dug up one of its seedlings for me to take home. It has been a gem for me since then, growing relatively slowly but looking better and better every year. The seedling I brought home is now is about 8 feet tall and wide. The branching stems are packed with buds that pop open into pink flowers in mid spring (April here in southeastern PA). As they finish, deep red-purple new foliage emerges. The rich color usually lasts into summer; when it gets really hot, most of the foliage turns green with a purplish cast. For the rest of the growing season, it’s mostly a textural accent, as the long, slender leaves flutter in the breeze.
Hidden by the leaves, the fuzzy fruits develop through the summer, ripening in early fall. The small, freestone fruits have white flesh and a pretty good flavor: a nice bonus on a very ornamental shrub. If you don’t pick the peaches for eating or seed-saving, you may find some seedlings in future years. I collect the fruits, remove the pits, and then extract the seeds. (That is a challenging, time-consuming process but greatly increases the germination success.) Note that the seeds, which resemble tiny almonds, are not edible. Full sun; average soil. Zones 5 to 9, probably.
2022- collected seeds sold out. I hope to collect again in fall 2023. At least 7 seeds. Limited supply; 1 packet per customer.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.