Prunus domestica

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Prunus domestica
Plum on tree.jpg
P. domestica plum
Probably a round plum or egg plum cultivar
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Prunus
Section: Prunus
Species: P. domestica
Binomial name
Prunus domestica
L.
Synonyms[1]

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]

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.

External links[edit]

Media related to Prunus domestica at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Prunus domestica at Wikispecies