Plum is one of the most famous fruits in world. In this cheat-sheet on plum facts we are going to look in various aspects of plum like varieties, species, fun facts and more.
These facts will be vital if you are looking for some information for your project. In case you just want to increase your knowledge, the article still serves the purpose.
So, without further ado, let’s get started…
Reliable Plum Facts: 1-5
1. Any tree or shrub and its edible fruits that fall under the subgenus Prunus of the genus Prunus is called plum.
2. Plum belongs to the Rosaceae family. Apples, cherries, raspberries, pears, almonds and strawberries, etc. all belong to the same family.
3. Plum is very closely related to cherry and peach. It is very popular as a desert fruit and is often eaten fresh.
4. Plum can however be cooked as jam or compote. It can also be baked into various types of pastries.
5. Raw plum is often used in juices, cakes, marmalades and jellies.
Reliable Plum Facts: 6-10
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6. Plums have many species. However, there is no unanimous agreement on the number of plum species available. Some taxonomists settle for 19 species while others say that there are 40 different species.
7. However, there are only two species that are considered to be economically or commercially significant in the entire world. They are:
- Hexaploid European Plum (binomial name is Prunus domestica)
- Diploid Japanese Plum (binomial name is Prunus salicina)
8. Exactly how these two commercially significant species came into existence is not clear. Scientists believe that possibly P. cerasifera and P. spinosa were the ancestors.
9. There are some plum species whose trees can reach the height of 20 to 33 feet or 6 to 10 meters.
10. For other species, the trees are much smaller in size while there are some species which are small shrubs and have drooping branches.
Reliable Plum Facts: 11-15
11. For most of the plum varieties, the flower buds are borne along the terminal shoots of main branches or on short spurs.
12. One flower bud can contain anywhere between 1 and 5 flowers. In general, there are 2-3 flowers in each bud.
13. When the plum trees are in full bloom, the flower buds give the appearance of showy flower clusters that are densely packed.
14. A single plum flower will have hypanthium, which is a cuplike structure.
15. The outer rim of the hypanthium is where the stamens, petals and sepals are. The hypanthium surrounds the single pistil of the flower.
Reliable Plum Facts: 16-20
16. Once the fertilization is over, the hypanthium, along with all its attachments, fall off.
17. The ovary is left behind which eventually develops into a drupe fruit or simply speaking, a fleshy fruit with a single seed encased in a pit.
18. The plum trees that are commercially important are medium-sized. These trees are usually pruned at 16 to 20 feet (or 5 to 6 meters)
19. If the commercially important plum trees are not pruned, they can reach a height of 39 feet or 12 meters.
20. These commercially important plum trees can spread across up to 33 feet or 10 meters.
Reliable Plum Facts: 21-25
21. The leaves of some plum varieties have an oblong shape, featuring a pointed tip.
22. There are some varieties of plums in which the leaves are oval in shape and feature serrated edges.
23. The leaves can measure anywhere between 2 to 4 inches in length (that is 5 to 10 centimeters). The leaves are green in color.
24. The plum fruits have either oval or globose shape.
25. When it comes to the size, the fruits are of medium size with the diameter being anywhere between 1 and 3 inches or 2.5 and 7.5 centimeters.
Reliable Plum Facts: 26-30
26. The fruit has a very juicy and firm flesh while the peel is smooth, having a natural waxy surface. The skin adheres to the flesh.
27. The plum trees blossom in different month in different areas of the world. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the trees blossom in early April. In Taiwan, the trees blossom in January.
28. There are six different plum cultivars that are in use. They are Damson, Greengage, Mirabelle, Satsuma plum, Victoria and Golden plum or Yellowgage.
29. The Damson cultivar is known for green flesh with a black or a purple skin.
30. The Greengage cultivar is known for firm and green flesh and green skin even when the fruits ripen.
Reliable Plum Facts: 31-35
31. The Mirabelle cultivar is usually grown in France and the fruits are dark yellow in color.
32. The Victoria cultivar offers fruits with yellow flesh but mottled or red skin.
33. The Satsuma cultivar is known for its firm and red flesh, featuring a red skin.
34. The Golden plum or Yellowgage cultivar gives fruits similar to the Greengage but they are just yellow in color.
35. When the plum trees blossom, approximately 50% of the flowers will be pollinated that will eventually become plums, provided the year is good.
Reliable Plum Facts: 36-40
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36. Once the plum trees start bearing, they do not require much pruning. This means that anyone can easily grow them in home fruit garden provided the person can control pests and diseases.
37. Plum is cultivated on every continent of this planet except for Antarctica. Temperate zones are the places where plums are usually grown.
38. If the weather becomes too dry, the plums will never grow beyond a certain stage. They will simply fall off the tree when they are in tiny green bud stage.
39. Plums will contract brown rot (a fungal condition) if the weather becomes unseasonably wet or if people fail to harvest them as soon as they ripen.
40. The brown rot is not really toxic at all. The areas of the plum that are affected by brown rot can be removed by cutting and the rest of the fruit can be eaten. However, if the brown rot is not noticed immediately, the entire fruit can become completely inedible.
Reliable Plum Facts: 41-45
41. Larvae of certain insects of the order Lepidoptera often use the plum as a food plant. Some examples of such insects are short-cloaked moth, willow beauty, November moth etc.
42. The common European plum mostly likely originated at least 2,000 years ago in regions around Caspian Sea and Caucasus.
43. The first cultivation of Japanese plum took place in China many thousands of years ago.
44. Extensive development of the Japanese plum however took place in Japan and then it was introduced to the rest of the world.
45. Japanese plums are the commonest fresh plums sold across the world. The reason is that the European plum varieties have shorter shelf-life compared to the Japanese varieties.
Reliable Plum Facts: 46-50
46. There are Old World plums and New World Plums. The difference between the two is that the Old World plums will have 1-3 flowers together with leaves in buds rolled inwards. The New World plums on the other hand will have 3-5 flowers together with leaves in buds folded inwards.
47. When it comes to the taste of plum, the taste actually ranges between tart to sweet. The skin in general is tart.
48. The juice extracted from plum can be fermented and made into plum wine.
49. Plums are used to make plum jerkum in central England. It is a cider-like alcoholic beverage.
50. Dried and salted plums are also available in market. They are often used as snack and go by the name salao or saladito.
Reliable Plum Facts: 51-55
51. Dried plums of various flavors are commonly available in Chinese grocers. However, they are also available in various specialty stores worldwide.
52. Some common dried plum varieties include ginseng, salty, spicy and cream.
53. For intensifying the flavors of these dried plums, licorice is often used. These intensely flavored dried plums are often used for making plum drinks. They are also used as topping for baobing or shaved ice.
54. Then there are pickled plums. These are usually found in Asia but they can also be available worldwide at various specialty stores.
55. The Japanese variant of pickled plums is known as umeboshi. In Japan, umeboshi is used for rice balls, which are known as omusubi or onigiri.
Reliable Plum Facts: 56-60
56. Slivovitz or plum brandy is an alcoholic drink made from plum. It is made in the Balkans.
57. Hungary grows a large number of Damson variety of plums. The Hungarians call these plums szilva.
58. Szilva is used for making a lot of things like plum dumplings, traditional fruit brandy known as palinka, plum paste jam known as lekvar, etc.
59. Plum seed contains amygdalim – a chemical compound. When this compound enters human body, it is converted into cyanide – a very toxic compound.
60. The plum pit, which encases the seed, has a fleshy inner part, which is used for making prune kernel oil.