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Wild Plum has attractive flowers during the spring and attractive fruits during the fall. However, the leaves and fruits are occasionally disfigured by insects and disease. There are several plum species in Illinois. They differ from each other primarily in the appearance of their leaves and the characteristics of their sepals. For example, the leaves of Prunus nigra (Canada Plum) are more broad than those of Wild Plum, while the leaves of Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw Plum) are more narrow. Wild Cherries are also Prunus spp., but their fruits are smaller in size (less than ½" across) and they are distributed primarily by birds, rather than mammals. There is a variety of Wild Plum that has leaves with pubescent undersides. It is referred to as Prunus americana lanata (Hairy Wild Plum). The typical variety has leaves with hairless undersides.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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