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Prunus americana

Pronunciation: Proo-nus a-mer-ih-kay-na
Family: Rosaceae (rose family)
Common Name: Wild plum, american plum
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • fruits, vegetables
Height to: 20-40'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
Bloom Description: The flowers are fragrant and borne on last years's wood about the time the leaves emerge in early spring. Flowers are about an inch (2. 5 cm) across, slightly larger than those of other north american prunus, and the tips of the sepals and center of the flower where the petals come together are suffused with pink which contrasts nicely with the pure white petals. The fruit is almost perfectly round, yellowish brown to reddish purple, and about an inch (2. 5 cm) in diameter.
Plant Perks:
  • Fragrant
Propagation: Fresh seeds should be kept warm for a couple months, then chilled for 2-4 months before planting. Seeds may take two years to germinate. Cuttings are difficult to root. Use young, fast growing, soft wooded tips under mist with bottom heat and cross your fingers.
Native to: Its original, native, range was probably confined to southeastern canada and the eastern half of the u. S. , south to northern florida. This is a shrub or tree of rich, relatively open woodlands and elevated ridges in bottomland swamps and floodplain forests. American plum sometimes grows in hedge rows and thickets along roadways, but not as characteristically as other prunus species, particularly chickasaw plum.
Notes for Identification: Mature american plum trees have beautiful bark, and that alone is enough reason to have one. In spring time the tree is covered with beautiful white blossoms that gradually fade to pink before dropping. The flowers attract bees and other native insects. The fruits are edible for people and wildlife. This is a fine, handsome specimen tree that doesn't get very big and can tolerate some shade from the larger oaks and pines. You will need two specimens to get fruit.
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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