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Plum, American Wild

Plum, American Wild

Prunus americana

Family: Rosaceae

Common Names: American Plum, wild yellow plum, red plum, wild plum

~2-3 ft tall at sale, bare root

Sourced from MI

Native to Vermont


Wild, thicket forming. Eat fresh, jellies, jam. 

    • General Information

      Recommended Spacing (ft) 15 - 20
      Mature Width (ft) 8 - 10
      Mature Height (ft) 10 - 20

      Growth Rate (in/yr)

      12 - 18
      Pollination Needs Self-fertile, yield increases with multiple
      Bloom Time March - April
      Ripens/Harvest August - September
      Soil pH 5.5 - 7.5
      Soil Type Loam
      Soil Moisture Well-drained, moist
      Sun Preference Full Sun, Partial Shade
      Taste Sweet
      Texture Firm, Crisp


    • Description

      A thicket-forming shrub or small tree with short trunk, many spreading branches, broad crown, showy large white flowers, and red plums. American plum is a small, understory tree to 35 ft. with fragrant, white flowers in showy, flat-topped clusters occuring before the leaves in spring. The fruit that follows ripens to a shiny, bright red. The short, crooked trunk - with scaly, black bark - supports a graceful, open crown. Fall foliage ranges from electric red to pale yellow.


      The plums are eaten fresh and used in jellies and preserves and are also consumed by many kinds of birds. Numerous cultivated varieties with improved fruit have been developed. A handsome ornamental with large flowers and relatively big fruit, American Plum is also grown for erosion control, spreading by root sprouts.

      The roots are shallow, widely spread, and send up suckers. The development of suckers from the root system makes American plum effective in stabilizing stream banks and gullies. It will tolerate several days of flooding. The branches are thorny. The fruits are about 1 inch in diameter. The American plum is used for both ornamental and culinary purposes. The sour and sweet fruit is eaten fresh and is made into jellies, jam, and wine.


      Wildlife: Deer, quail, grouse, and pheasant love to eat the plum fruit, and both white-tailed deer and mule deer feed on twigs and leaves.


      [description from and]

    • Photo Credit

      Photo by by USDAgov

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