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Pre-Pro Division

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michelleu Edmitrievz
michelleu Edmitrievz

Wild Plum

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When grown in the open, the common wild plum, (Prunus americana) is a low-branched, rounded tree, but becomes shrubby when grown in thickets or in crowded conditions. It is found throughout the state along fence rows, borders of woods and waste places. It is a valuable wildlife tree.

The Elm Grove Library is proud to be involved in a partnership of five libraries called the Wild Plum Library Memory Project. It includes Elm Grove, Menomonee Falls, Brookfield, Germantown, and Sussex. The libraries in this group offer rotating monthly memory cafes and educational programs for those concerned about memory loss. The Wild Plum Library Memory Project received its name because the late production of its fruit associates the wild plum tree with endurance and the vitality of life.

Prunus americana, commonly called American plum, is a Missouri native, small, deciduous, single trunk tree or multi-stemmed shrub which occurs in rocky or sandy soils in woodlands, pastures, abandoned farms, streams and hedgerows throughout the State. As a tree, it typically grows to 15-25' tall with a broad, spreading crown. As a shrub, it suckers freely and can form large colonies. 2-5 flowered clusters (umbels) of 5-petaled white flowers (1" diameter) appear in March before the foliage. Flowers are unpleasantly aromatic. Flowers are followed by edible, round, red plums (1" diameter) with bright yellow pulp which ripen in early summer. This species is usually grown for ornamental value and not for fruit production, however. Although the plums can be eaten raw, the quality is somewhat poor. The fruits are perhaps better used for preserves and jellies. Toothed, oblong to ovate leaves are 3-4" long and turn yellow to red in autumn. Branches and twigs are an attractive dark reddish-brown and sometimes have thorny lateral branchlets.Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree.Specific epithet means of the Americas.

A perfect solution for your dry cocktails, this natural wild plum zero-proof spirit is small batched in the Nebraska Sandhills using the gorgeous Ogallala Aquifer waters. Craft with your favorite cocktail or on the rocks.

I have one growing wild in my back yard amongst the boxelder trees. It has beautiful fragrant flowers in the spring and the fruits make great jam that tastes like apricots. The mature fruits are a yellow orange color-some get slightly red.

My husband and I bought our first home in October of 2017. Upon inspection we discovered the "giant bushes" in the middle of the yard were actually 10 wild plum trees. We trimmed them up and have been enjoying making jelly ever since to share with friends and family.

I would like to know where I could get a few wild plums without doing something environmentally unfriendly such as accidentally buying a cultivar. I want something that it would be okay if it spread to nearby wild areas.

Naomi, we do not track who sells what, but see "where to buy native plants and seeds" that is shown on most web pages here, or the list of native plant vendors. I am sure some of those nurseries carry native plums.

My father loved the natural world, especially when it came to finding good things to eat. In a family of six living on his railroader's salary, wild harvests were welcome additions to the family table. Beyond fish caught and game shot, fungi, plants, nuts, and fruits provided more reasons to get outdoors in every season.

Spring was for morels in the woods, followed by wild asparagus along roadsides, fencerows, and field edges. Early July was for "black caps," as Dad called black raspberries. Fall was for walnuts and hickory nuts.

With some scouting and planning, you can find and harvest your own wild plum bounty. Wild fruits may be gathered in Minnesota state forests, state parks, wildlife management areas, and on some other public lands. Check with the land manager to make sure it's allowed before you gather.

Look for wild plum thickets in spring, when the profuse white mounds of blossoms form befor


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