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Overview

Brief Summary

Prunus domestica, the common or European plum, is a small deciduous tree in the Rosaceae (rose family) that is an ancient domesticated species, known only in cultivation, that is now cultivated in temperate areas worldwide for its fruit. The species, which was first recorded in cultivation by the Syrians and then the Romans, and spread to western Europe during the Crusades, is likely derived from one or a combination of several Eurasian progenitors: cherry plum (P. salicifera); sloe (P. spinosa); and damson plum (P. insititia).

Other species known as plums include the American plum, P. americana, and the Japanese plum, P. salicina, as well as various hybrids and several other wild species. “Prune” refers either to a dried plum or to any of the freestone plum varieties, in which the pit separates easily from the flesh, which allows for the fruit to be pitted before drying. (Many plum varieties do not have easily removed stones, but these are generally eaten fresh or processed into juices, jams, or jellies.) Prune plums may be eaten fresh as well as dried.

The plum tree grows 9 to 15 m (29 to 50 ft) tall, and has reddish-brown twigs with few or no spines; young twigs are often pubescent (covered with short, downy hair). The leaves are oval to oblong, up to 10 cm (4 in) long, somewhat serrated or with wavy margins. The 5-petalled white flowers occur singly or in clusters of 2 or 3. The fruit is up to 8 cm (3 in) long, and is round to oval drupe with a hard, stony, flattened pit (with a smooth or slightly pitted shell). Fruit colors vary considerably across varieties, ranging from green to yellow to red to purple to black, often with a glaucous (white waxy) bloom on the surface.

Plums, which are high in potassium and vitamins C and K, and are a good source of dietary fiber, are eaten fresh, dried, or prepared into preserves, jams, jellies, and juices. They are used in baked goods and puddings, or as a condiment alongside meat dishes. They are used in various alcoholic beverages, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, including the plum brandy known as slivovitz.

The FAO estimates that the total commercial harvest of plums and sloes in 2010 was 12.0 million metric tons, harvested from 2.5 million hectares. China is the leading producer, responsible the largest share of the global harvest, followed by the U.S., Serbia, Romania, and Chile. Within the U.S., California produces more than 90% of the commercial harvest, with additional production in Idaho, Michigan, Oregon and Washington, for a total market value of over $80 million.

(Bailey et al. 1976, Boriss et al. 2011, FAOSTAT 2012, Hedrick 1919, van Wyk 2005.)

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Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, Cultivated, Native of South West Asia"
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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"Tamil Nadu: Dindigul, Tirunelveli"
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees 6–15 m tall. Branches reddish brown, unarmed or with a few spines, glabrous; branchlets pale red to grayish green, sparsely pubescent. Winter buds reddish brown, usually glabrous. Stipules linear, margin glandular, apex acuminate. Petiole 1–2 cm, densely pubescent; leaf blade dark green, elliptic to obovate, 4–10 × 2.5–5 cm, abaxially pubescent, adaxially glabrous or sparsely pubescent on veins, base cuneate to occasionally broadly cuneate and with a pair of nectaries, margin remote crenate, apex acute to obtuse; secondary veins 5–7 on either side of midvein. Flowers solitary or to 3 in a fascicle, on apex of short branchlets, 1–1.5 cm in diam. Pedicel 1–1.2 cm, glabrous or pubescent. Hypanthium outside pubescent. Sepals ovate, outside pubescent, margin entire, apex acute. Petals white or occasionally greenish, obovate, base cuneate, apex rounded to obtuse. Drupe red, purple, green, or yellow, usually globose to oblong, rarely subglobose, 1–2.5 cm in diam., often glaucous; endocarp broadly ellipsoid, pitted. Fl. Mar, fr. Sep.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Tree
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Synonym

Prunus communis Hudson; P. domestica var. damascena Linnaeus; P. domestica subsp. oeconomica (Borkhausen) C. K. Schneider; P. sativa Rouy & Camus subsp. domestica (Linnaeus) Rouy & E. G. Camus.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat & Distribution

Widely cultivated in China [native to SW Asia and Europe].
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Associations

Foodplant / shot hole causer
hypophyllous acervulus of Phloeosporella coelomycetous anamorph of Blumeriella jaapii causes shot holes on live leaf of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / gall
Brachycaudus cardui causes gall of leaf of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / saprobe
conidioma of Foveostroma coelomycetous anamorph of Dermea padi is saprobic on dead twig of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent pycnidium of Foveostroma coelomycetous anamorph of Dermea prunastri is saprobic on dead twig of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / parasite
Phomopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Diaporthe perniciosa parasitises live branch of Prunus domestica

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Erysiphe prunastri parasitises Prunus domestica

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Ganoderma lucidum is saprobic on dead stump of Prunus domestica
Other: minor host/prey

Plant / resting place / within
ovum of Hoplocampa flava may be found in ovary of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic perithecium of Leucostoma persoonii is saprobic on dead bark of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Magdalis ruficornis feeds on dead twig of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / pathogen
Monilia dematiaceous anamorph of Monilinia laxa infects and damages live twig of Prunus domestica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Orsodacne cerasi feeds on anther of Prunus domestica
Remarks: season: 4-9

Foodplant / feeds on
Otiorhynchus clavipes feeds on Prunus domestica

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Peniophora versicolor is saprobic on dead, attached twig of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / shot hole causer
few, minute, immersed pycnidium of Phyllosticta coelomycetous anamorph of Phyllosticta circumscissa causes shot holes on live leaf of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / spot causer
amphigenous, scattered pycnidium of Phyllosticta coelomycetous anamorph of Phyllosticta prunicola causes spots on live leaf of Prunus domestica
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / parasite
evanescent, mainly hypophyllous conidial anamorph of Podosphaera tridactyla parasitises live leaf of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic, immersed perithecium of Polystigma rubrum is saprobic on dead, fallen, overwintered leaf of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / sap sucker
Rhopalosiphum nymphaeae sucks sap of live Prunus domestica
Remarks: season: winter
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / gall
infection of Taphrina pruni causes gall of live fruit of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / parasite
telium of Tranzschelia discolor parasitises live leaf of Prunus domestica
Remarks: season: 7-9
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic, valsoid perithecium of Valsaria cincta is saprobic on dead stem of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / pathogen
effuse colony of Cladosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Venturia carpophila infects and damages live fruit of Prunus domestica

Foodplant / hemiparasite
haustorium of Viscum album is hemiparasitic on branch of Prunus domestica

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Prunus domestica

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Prunus domestica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 14
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Wikipedia

Prunus domestica

Prunus domestica (sometimes referred to as Prunus × domestica) is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae. A deciduous tree, it includes many varieties of the fruit trees known as plums in English, though not all plums belong to this species. The greengages and damsons also belong to subspecies of P. domestica.

Its hybrid parentage is believed to be Prunus spinosa and Prunus cerasifera.[2] This is the most commonly grown plum at least in Europe, and most prunes (dried plums) are made from fruits of this species.

Characteristics[edit]

A Prunus domestica with its first flowers, here at the end of february

Typically it forms a large shrub or a small tree. It may be somewhat thorny, with white blossom, borne in early spring. The oval or spherical fruit varies in size, but can be up to 8 cm across, and is usually sweet (dessert plum), though some varieties are sour and require cooking with sugar to make them palatable. Like all Prunus fruits, it contains a single large seed, usually called a stone, which is discarded when eating.[3]

Plums are grown commercially in orchards, but modern rootstocks, together with self-fertile strains, training and pruning methods, allow single plums to be grown in relatively small spaces. Their early flowering and fruiting means that they require a sheltered spot away from frosts and cold winds.[3]

For a full discussion of the fruit, see under the main article Plum.

Cultivars[edit]

Various cultivars of plums with number labels - Imperial Gage (1), Damson (2), Lombard (3), Maynard (4) and Yellow Egg (5)

Numerous cultivars have been selected for garden use. The following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • 'Jefferson'[8]
  • 'Laxton's Delight'[9]
  • 'Mallard'[10]
  • 'Marjory's Seedling'[11]

Subspecies[edit]

Greengages
Mirabelle plum

The European Garden Flora recognises three subspecies, though scientific studies favor a more fine-grained separation:

The subspecies cross easily, so that numerous intermediate forms can be found: their sweetness and tartness may vary, their colors varying from bluish purple, to red, orange, yellow or light green.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Khanizadeh, S.; Cousineau, J. (2000). Our Plums/Les Pruniers de chez nous. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Agriculteur et Agroalimentaire Canada. ISBN 0-660-61568-1. 
  3. ^ a b Klein, Carol (2009). Grow your own fruit. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845334345. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Blue Rock'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Blue Tit'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Czar'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Imperial Gage'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Jefferson'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Laxton's Delight'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Mallard'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Marjory's Seedling'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Opal'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Oullins Gage'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Pershore'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Prunus domestica 'Victoria'". Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  • European Garden Flora; vol. IV; 1995.
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Notes

Comments

This species has a long history of cultivation, with many horticultural varieties. It is grown for its fruit, which are eaten fresh or made into juice or preserves.
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