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Plum trees


Plum treesThe plums cultivated in the United States belong to the following groups:
  1. Domestica or European types, Prunus domestica. Native to western Asia. Comprises the common or old-time plums, such as Green Gage, Lombard, Bradshaw, Yellow Egg, Damsons, and the like. The leading plums from Lake Michigan eastward and north of the Ohio, and on the Pacific slope.

  2. The myrobalan or cherry-plum type, Prunus cerasifera. Native to southeastern Europe or southwestern Asia. Much used for stocks upon which to bud plums, and also the parent of a few named varieties, like Golden Cherry; and DeCaradeuc and Marianna are either offshoots of it or hybrids between it and one of the native plums.

  3. Japanese types, Prunus triflora. Probably native to China. The types seems to be generally adapted to the United States, and will certainly be of great value to both the south and north.

  4. The Apricot or Simon plum, Prunus Simonii. Native to China. Widely disseminated in this country, but little grown except, perhaps, in parts of California.

  5. The Americana types, Prunus Americana. The common wild plum of tho north, and extending westward to the Rocky Mountains and southward to the Gulf and Texas. Admirably adapted to climates too severe for the domestica plums, as the plains and the upper Mississippi valley.

  6. The Wild Goose or hortulana types, Prunus hortulana. A mongrel type of plums, comprising such kinds as wild Goose, Wayland, Moreman, Miner and Golden Beauty. No doubt hybrids of the last and the next.

  7. The Chickasaw types, Prunus angustifolia (or Prunus Chicasa): Native to the Southern states, and there cultivated (from southern Delaware southwards) in such varieties as Newman, Caddo Chief, and Lone Star.

  8. The Sand plum, Prunus Watsoni. Native to Kansas and Nebraska. A bush-like species, little known in cultivation. A hybrid of this and the Western Sand Cherry is the Utah Hybrid Cherry.

  9. The Beach plum, Prunus martima. Native to the coast from New Brunswick to Virginia. In cultivation represented by the unimportant Bassett's American; also as an ornamental plant.

  10. The Pacific coast plum: Prunus subcordata. Native to Oregon and California. Sparingly known in cultivation, chiefly in the form known as the Sisson plum (var. Kelloggii).


In respect to varieties, it is difficult to make any classification of those of the domestica stock. Perhaps the best that could be done would be to make four loose groups, as follows;
  1. Damsons, comprising very small firm plums of various colors, generally borne in clusters, the leaves mostly small. The run-wild plums of old road­sides and farmyards are mostly of the damson type.

  2. The green gages, comprising various smallish, green or yellow-green plums of spherical form and mostly of high quality. Reine Claude is the commonest representative of this group in New York. There seems to be no specific Green Gage generally propagated in this country. The name has now come to represent a class of plums.

  3. Large yellow plums, such as Coe's Golden Drop, Washington, and the like.

  4. Large colored plums, including the various red, blue and purple varieties, like the blue prunes, Lombard, Bradshaw, Quackenboss, etc. In respect to hardiness of the different types of plums, it may, be said that the Japanese and domestica varieties are about equally resistant to cold. The Americana types are very hardy.