Wild Plum - Prunus Americana
Wild Plum is a shrub that can be cultivated into a small tree. Its upper branches form a broad canopy and growth occurs at a moderate rate. Their root systems are shallow and they prefer rocky to sandy, well-drained soils. Wild Plums tolerate acidic soils and brief periods of drought but thrive when provided consistent moisture. Wild Plums are deciduous and produce a dazzling display of vibrant red to yellow fall colors. The bark is a rich, deep red-brown color. In April to May, Wild Plums present numerous, showy clusters of three to five white flowers. Each flower is composed of five white, delicate, oval petals. Wild Plums are a prized landscape ornamental due to their abundance of beautiful flowers. Deep green leaves with pale undersides appear once flowering is complete. Propagation is dominantly through seeds and suckers. The attractive flowers turn into the sweet plum fruit. Plums are typically a half inch to one and a half inches in size and ripen in August to September. The fruit is generally a deep red-purple color but can be yellow to pink-red. The plums are edible and can be enjoyed baked, dried, preserved, or jellied. Many parts of the Wild Plum are useful. Native Americans harvested the bark and used it as a remedy for many disorders, such as wound care and stomach ailments. They also utilized the roots to make a red dye. Modern studies have indicated that the roots and bark contain components that are active against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Groups of Wild Plums are effective for soil stabilization due to their shallow root system and emergence of suckers. As a landscape addition, Wild Plums provide significant habitats for wildlife and abundant food for birds and various mammals.