[NAFEX] Wild fruit (beach plums) provide a tart treat

Lucky Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Wed Aug 11 13:03:57 EDT 2004

At 09:34 AM 8/11/2004 -0700, Mark wrote:
>When you said they set and matured a good crop of fruit last year, are you 
>referring to last summer?
Yes; last summer. I mainly picked & ate the fruits as I passed by them on 
the lawnmower.

>   If so, how are they doing this summer?  I understand that now is the 
> harvest time for beach plums in their native setting.
I'll have to check, I'm not sure both set fruit this year, and since I've 
not had time to do hardly any budding this season, I've rarely gotten 
farther away from the house than the blueberries & pears, ever since the 
mulberries finished up.

A co-worker brought in a handful of small, unripe plums this morning - he'd 
noticed them in a fencerow on his farm earlier this summer, and was 
surprised to see fruits still there this weekend, as the native Chickasaw 
plums are long gone.  My thought is perhaps they're P.americana, but I'm 
not that familiar with that species - have never knowingly seen it in the 
wild here in the Southeast, but I do have a few seedling P.americana in the 
nursery beds, that I purchased for use as rootstocks.  Guess I need to have 
a look at them to see if the fruits are similar.  Guess they might be 
P.spinosa? maybe?  Pretty bitter, but they were still hard and mostly 
green.  He's going to pull a twig & leaves for possible ID purposes.


>Also, the Oikos website that you provided a link to lists a Dwarf Beach 
>Plum NANA which sounds interesting&
>Precocious fruiting dwarf form developed by finding five individuals from 
>4000 plants that fruited one year from seed and then isolating them from 
>the rest of our planting. Fruit size is a little smaller than the species 
>but the productivity is greater. True to type from seed. Unlike the more 
>typical species this form is slower growing and more compact so the plant 
>doesn t lean over with age. Even if you are not into the fruit the dense 
>white flowers in spring are worth the wait of winter. Really a beautiful 
>I would like to hear from anyone that has tried this plum.
>-Mark Lee, Seattle
>-----Original Message-----
>From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org 
>[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Lucky Pittman
>Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 7:48 AM
>To: North American Fruit Explorers
>Subject: RE: [NAFEX] Wild fruit (beach plums) provide a tart treat
>At 07:29 AM 8/11/2004 -0700, Mark wrote:
>Does anyone in NAFEX grow beach plums in an environment that is not near 
>the beach?
>I've got two seedling beach plums that I purchased from Ken Asmus at OIKOS 
>Tree Crops, several years ago.  Planted along the edge of my orchard, 
>close to the European & Japanese hybrid plums, though I don't recall if 
>their bloom periods overlap.  I'm probably 500-600 miles from a beach, 
>discounting the swimming beach I made at the farm pond a hundred feet away 
>from these beach plums.
>The two bushes I've got are quite disparate in size - one's about 3 ft 
>tall, the other at least 6 ft.  No problem with brown rot or any other 
>disease/pest(that I've noticed), and they're not (yet) suckering - if 
>that's a trait of the species.  I have a good clay soil, and these are 
>located in a spot with good drainage, but definitely not a beach setting.
>They set and matured a good crop of fruit last year - small, but tasty, 
>and many just dried up on the plants after ripening, almost like raisins, 
>without dropping.
>Lucky Pittman
>USDA Cold Zone 6
>AHS Heat Zone 7
>Hopkinsville, KY
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