PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Plum

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Prunus Americana / Rosaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  American plum, wild plum

CONDITIONS: sun-partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

       

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

sweet/tart

RAW/DRY/COOK

Aug

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small-medium

 

COMMENT: Fruit - raw, cooked in pies etc or used in preserves. The flesh is succulent and juicy, though it is rather acid with a tough skin. The best forms are pulpy and pleasant tasting. The fruit is best cooked, and it can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity.(1)

 

CAUTION: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.(1)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL: Inner bark. Twigs. - Antiasthmatic;  Astringent;  Disinfectant;  Diuretic;  Miscellany;  Poultice.(1) Also: https://draxe.com/plum-benefits

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Broom;  Disinfectant;  Dye;  Miscellany;  Rootstock;  Soil stabilization;  Wood. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. A red dye can be obtained from the roots. This species is widely used as a rootstock for cultivated plums in North America. The tough, elastic twigs can be bound into bundles and used as brooms for sweeping the floor. Trees often grow wild along streams, where their roots tend to prevent soil erosion.(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+americana
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/chickasaw-plum-yum (includes related species)
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_americana
  4. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2011/12/plum-chickasaw.html (related, good photos)