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American Plum, Wild Plum - Prunus americana


Family: Rosaceae - Rose family Genus Common Name: Plum Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Tree Shrub
Prunus americana - American Plum, Wild Plum. Threatened in New Hampshire and Vermont. Shrub to small tree growing up to 25' tall, and can be nearly as wide. It has low branches and thorns up to 3" long, so in the wild it can be part of a nearly impenetrable thicket. The fleshy fruit is edible. The plum fruit is usually around an inch in diameter.

Found in:
AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

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Prunus americana

Distribution of Prunus americana in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 13 Dec 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Pigeon Mountain - Blue Hole Area, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-April-02Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D60
The showy white flowers of Prunus americana have 5 petals, as do most members of the Rose family.
Prunus americana

Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-April-02Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Clearly butterflies are among the pollinators of the American Plum.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Prunus americana

Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-April-02Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
While the Wild Plum can grow as a solitary tree, it can also be part of a nearly impenetrable thicket.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Prunus americana

Site: Pigeon Mountain - Blue Hole Area, Walker County, GA Date: 2012-July-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Update 04/02/2014: I've been advised by Richard Ware of the Georgia Botanical Society, a man with expertise in trees FAR beyond my own, that this is a persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) rather than a plum (Prunus americana).

These green fruits will ripen to yellow or a reddish-purple.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Prunus americana

References used for identification and information:

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer