A plum is a stone-fruit
tree in the genus Prunus. Its fruit is sweet, juicy and edible,
and it can be eaten fresh or used in jam-making or other recipes.
Plum juice can be fermented into plum wine; when distilled, this
produces a brandy known in Eastern Europe as Slivovitz. Dried
plums are known as prunes. Prunes are sweet and juicy, and they
have a very high fibre content, so prune juice is often used to
help regulate the functioning of the digestive system. It also
contains several antioxidants that may slow aging. Prune marketers
in the United States have, in recent years, begun marketing their
product as "dried plums", because "prunes"
has negative connotations of being unappetizing, and suitable
only for the elderly. Prune
kernel oil is made from the fleshy inner part of the pit of the
When it flowers
in the early spring, a plum tree will be covered in blossom, and
in a good year approximately 50% of the flowers will be pollinated
and become plums. Flowering starts after 80 growing degree days.
If the weather is too dry the plums will not develop past a certain
stage, but will fall from the tree while still tiny green buds,
and if it is unseasonably wet or if the plums are not harvested
as soon as they are ripe, the fruit may develop a fungal condition
called brown rot. Brown rot is not toxic, and very small affected
areas can be cut out of the fruit, but unless the rot is caught
immediately the fruit will no longer be edible. Plum is used as
a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera including November
Above Pictures Are From The U.S.D.A.