[NAFEX] American plum (wild plum; P. americana) - Discussion of edibility.

Matt Demmon mdemmon at gmail.com
Sun Sep 4 07:21:39 EDT 2011

I replied to this last year as well, but I'll do it briefly again! My
experience is strictly with wild trees in my area, southeast Michigan.

American Plum ranges from delicious, sweet with a hint of tart, as good as a
sweet cherry for eating out of hand, to extremely astringent and not edible
for fresh eating.

Canada Plum, not as common in this area, so sample size is smaller, however
have all been very similar, falling off the tree when still very firm, and
so astringent you can't eat them. On the dry side too.

And the one chickasaw plum that I've found was juicy and crisp, but pretty
darn tart and not much sweet.

Summary: The best American plums I've had, and I know exactly where that
tree is, are among the best tasting fruits I've ever eaten. Your experience
may vary wildly. And that tree seems to fruit about 1 out of 3 years, in
sync with all the other american plums along that roadside.

z5 se MI

On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 12:27 AM, Steven Covacci <filtertitle at aol.com> wrote:

> Group:
> This is, for the most part, a re-visit of a topic I initiated last year
> regarding the edibility of certain native wild plum species, particularly
> American plum (P. americana), Chickasaw plum (P. angustifolia), wild-goose
> plum/Munson's plum (P. munsoniana) and Canadian plum (P. nigra) - these in
> comparison to beach plum (P. maritima).
> How edible is American plum (P. americana)?  I've only tasted beach plum
> (excellent).  I have seedling American plums from Oikos, from St. Lawrence
> (NYS), and from the wild of Pennsylvania.  I wonder how these would compare,
> in terms of edible characteristics:
> *to beach plum
> *to the celebrated (historically - and by Ken Asmus) wild-goose plum cv.
> 'wild goose'
> *to Canadian plum
> *to Chickasaw plum
> *or if you've never tried other native wild plums, just your impression of
> American plum alone
> Some say that American plum is incredibly astringent and not very good for
> fresh eating; others say that it's delicious - just discard the astringent
> skin.  If you comment on this topic, please be sure that you are describing
> your personal experience with American plum (not other wild plums, such as
> mexican plum, Chickasaw plum, Allegheny plum, or naturalized European plum,
> etc.)  Keep in mind, this is not a topic that includes issues of cultivation
> - including its potential to sucker undesirably.
> One report suggests that wild-goose plum (P. munsoniana) is the best of the
> wild plums for fresh eating; another (an old text) suggests that wild-goose
> plum is no better (flavor-wise) then most wild American plums (P.
> americana), but has better disease resistance.
> Thanks,
> Steve; NJ 6b/7a
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