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Flatwoods plum

The Flatwoods or Hog Plum (Prunus umbellata) is small Florida native – a shrubby tree with beautifully crooked growth habits. It is covered in white blooms in the spring. Its fruits are a bit larger than a cooked garbanzo bean, and sour, sometimes bitter. Our plants are seedlings of one of the best tasting trees around, and not at all bitter.

Soil: Well drained, tolerates acidic to slightly basic conditions. Add a bit of lime, just to make sure there’s enough. Light fertilizing might help, but is probably not essential.
Water: Will benefit from irrigation during droughts, or if soil is excessively drained.
Sun: full sun, part sun, part shade.
Cold: Very cold hardy.

Pruning: Mostly unnecessary, but removing low branches/suckers can improve appearance.
Propagation: By seed, cold stratification required.
Pests: Some fruits are parasitized.

Harvesting, storage, and preparation: Harvest the fruits quickly because they fall off as soon as they are ripe, and quickly rot. They make excellent jams, jellies, pies, and preserves.


More photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=relevance&text=flatwoods%20plum

pdf: Flatwoods Plum Information Sheet
(to print out)

4 comments to Flatwoods plum

  • Pete

    I grew up eating these plums in East Texas. I think they are the most tasty of all native plums and have planted seeds around the farm. I plant three or four seeds together and then remove all but one seedling after they get several inches tall. They have a large tap root so I haven’t tried growning seed in pots but it could work.

  • Debra Hollingsworth

    Please help me….I’m unsure if I have Chickasaw aka Flatwood Plums or something else. Please help me identify : The trees I have bear wonderful canning fruit and most of the old timers from this area had trees planted in their yards years ago. Today very few people know of them much less have some. When I was a child I picked the fruit with my mother and we made plum pickles and wow was it good!

    The average tree is about nine feet tall, has light green fruit until it begins to ripen which turns to light red and green to solid purple with a tart somewhat sweet bitter taste. The trees grow along wooded edges here in Desoto County Florida (central/south Florida) or in one large group where the small sprouts appear to be coming from the adult tree’s roots. The bush has multiple stalks with a very rough bark at the bottom but a smooth reddish purple color on top branches. The leaves are elongated. The trees DO NOT have thorns but many tiny zigzag limbs on lower stalks that poke me and get tangled in my hair when I try to pick. I don’t know what the bloom looks like but they are lovely bushes now! The thick clumps of trees produce lots of fruit. The inside or shaded side trees produce larger fruit with more meat than the bushes located along the wooded edge areas or in direct sunlight: approx. 3/4 to 1″ in diameter. A friend calls them “hog plums” but the pictures I find and the information I read pertaining to Hog Plums say trees have thorns and yellow fruit. These do not. I did find one plant within a half mile with tiny yellow fruit that may be what you call a Hog Plum as it does have thorns and it’s different from these. I did not taste that fruit yet because I only had two specimens and want to have local professionals look at them before I destroy them.

    The trees I’m picking are loaded with fruit. I’ve picked about forty pounds and plan to make plum pickles, jelly and jam using my old family recipes.
    I would surely appreciate anyone who will direct me to photos and information so I can identify what I have.
    I dug several up and transplanted them to my yard. They’re lovely plants and besides the fruit will make a wonderful focal point for my hard!

  • Debra Hollingsworth

    I wish I could add photos so everyone can see what I have. It’s not like the plant above…

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