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

tanis cuff tanistanis at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 7 11:29:21 EDT 2011

I'm sorry I cannot recall which is which.
In s.WI, we mostly have the suckery thicket-forming wild plum.  It is amazing fruit.  Very sweet juice between a small pit and a very astringent skin+pulp.  Great wine, great jam (or with less sugar perhaps a sauce for wild game), but use stainless steel & plastic for processing, as it takes a bad flavor from iron.  When these suckers become shrubs and try to become trees, they tend to fall over, so they don't get tall.  Too often the fruits have a brown rot.
I wonder if there are 2 species of the suckery plums, with one growing in drier soils.  These are smaller & seem to fall over less, but they may just be the above species but stunted by the poor soil.  These seem to be declining, perhaps due to some blight or root rot. 
What I'm more certain is a different species is occasionally I see a wild plum tree which is a single small tree, fruit different from above, and unfortunately not often enough for me to make broad statements about quality.
I see the suckery kinds in hi-dry soils (but doing best on edges of farm fields), the tree kind more on marsh edges & better soils.
s. WI, z4/5

> Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2011 07:21:39 -0400
> From: mdemmon
> To: nafex
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] American plum (wild plum; P. americana) - Discussion of edibility.
> 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.
> -matt
> z5 se MI

> On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 12:27 AM, Steven Covacci 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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