A small tree with white spring flowers and edible fruit, American plum is a good replacement for the wildly invasive callery pear. Plums vary in size and sweetness, but are more nutritious and often tastier than store bought plums. As with all Prunus species, American plums hosts many insects including coral hairstreak, Eastern tiger swallowtail, red-spotted purple, azure, and viceroy butterflies! Will sucker by habit, but can be maintained as a single tree. At least two genetically distinct individuals are needed to set fruit.
Light: Full Sun, Part Sun/Shade
Soil Moisture: Mesic, Dry Mesic, Dry
Soil Type: Loam, Sandy Loam, Rocky Loam
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar-Apr
Fruit: Edible fruits mature in Aug.
Fall Color: Yellow, Red
Root Type: Branching
Notable Wildlife Interactions: Flowers attract bees and flies. Hosts a variety of insects including moths such as the wild cherry sphinx and white dotted prominent, leafhoppers, borers, and some smaller insects. Fruits are eaten mainly by mammals, namely red and grey fox, but occasionally are foraged by fruit eating birds.
Notes: Fruits are more comparable to cherries than store bought plums- generally an inch in diameter and range from sweet to sweet tart. Can be eaten raw but are more often used in jams and pies. One of the many thicket species cultivated and maintained by pre-Columbian Native Americans. The closely related Shawnee plum (Prunus munsoniana) may be a historic cultivar of Prunus americana.