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Plant ID - is this really a plum?  RSS feed

 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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We bought our property last August, and the previous owners told me that this was a wild plum, and also that it never set fruit. Well, this year it set fruit, for sure! It flowered early, before any leaves appeared (I don't unfortunately have a pic of that), pale pink blossoms all up and down the branches. The fruit looks more like a cherry to me, and is a bit tart but very tasty. It would be nice to know that it's not going to slowly kill me, however...

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Fruit Shrub 003.jpg
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John Elliott
pollinator
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Looks like some variety of Prunus, so yes, it's a plum/cherry/prune/mirabelle/whatever you want to call it.
 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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Well, yippee! More food I don't have to plant! And I just harvested about a quart and a half, so I'm glad it's not toxic...it looked like Prunus to me as well, but I couldn't find anything that matched it exactly.
 
John Elliott
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Jessica Gorton wrote:...I'm glad it's not toxic...


Just don't eat the leaves. Or cut them and give it to the goats. Prunus leaves can have cyanide residues in them. If goats browse a few leaves, it's usually not harmful, but if they go on a tear and munch down a lot of the plant, it can be a problem.

 
Denis Huel
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Almost certain its a Nanking cherry, Prunus tomentosa. Easy to grow more from seed. Needs straitification, fall plant. But don't wait too long to collect the seed as birds are quite fond of the cherries.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3894
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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I am with Denis, looks like my Nanking Cherries. If so they are edible, big pits inside. I always had to put nets over them as the robins would eat themselves flightless !
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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If it is a Nanking Cherry, here are a couple Wikipedia images to compare:
Flowing (before leaf set:


Flower detail:


Fruit/leaves:


Good pie cherries (or soak them in brandy)

 
Renate Howard
pollinator
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Location: zone 6b
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We had those, very short-lived in my yard but the years we got good crops they made really excellent jelly. Watch out for wooly aphids on them, that's what killed mine, I think.
 
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