The Small Wild Plum
Why American Plum?
The American plum, Prunus americana, though typically a multi-stemmed shrub, can grow into a small tree and reach up to 20” tall. The tree blooms white fragrant flowers in the early spring and red-colored plums that grow over the summer, which can be used in jams and jellies. The tree is the perfect way to welcome summer with opening arms and enhance the beauty of your backyard.
The fruits are edible and used in making jams, jellies, preserves, and even wine. Despite the sour outer skins, the plums taste sweet and tart when eaten fresh and can also be pitted and dried like prunes to make Kershaw (fruit leather).
Prunus americana grows on the edges of woodlands and prairies and prefers an acidic, well-drained loamy soil. It grows well in full sun or partial shade and doesn’t require much upkeep.
The wild plum tree is easy to transplant and can be grown from seeds. The plant has fruit every year that ripens from August to September, while flowering occurs in April and May.
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Interactive Excerpt From USDA Plant Guide