Prunus domestica, European Plum
Zone
  5/3 (2b)
Pollination
  self-sterile, slightly self-fertile
Blooms
(overall) early-mid, later than most Asian plums
Yield
  3 - 6 years (clone)

European plums are believed to be native to the Caucasus region, particularly south of the mountains.   They have, however, been extensively cultivated throughout Europe for over 2000 years.   Rainfall within their native range can be quite variable, but it's generally between 0.5" to 2" per month during most of the year (in a fairly large area, May and June receives around 3" each month).   The average July high ranges between 78F (25.6C) and 88F (31.1C).

In France and England, where plums were widely cultivated, rainfall is generally 2" to 2.5" per month during most of the grow season.   The average July high resides around 75F (23.9C).  

There are multiple European plum subspecies.   The following four are the most common, and their descriptions should be typical, but there is certainly variation within the groups (most E.  plums should have a fairly firm texture - for a plum).

Prune-type (domestica): the most common type.   ranges between very sweet to sweet-tart.   good flavor.   blue or purple skin.   can be fairly large (2").
Gage-type (italica): very sweet, good flavor.   green or yellow skin.   medium size.
Mirabelle-type (syriaca): very sweet but lacking in flavor compared to the other subspecies.   small fruit (1").   yellow, non-tart skin.
Damson-type (insititia): sweet-tart flesh.   astringent or bitter, blue or purple skin.   primarily used for processing.




Prunus salicina, Japanese Plum
Zone
  5/2 (1b)
Pollination
  self-sterile, partially self-fertile
Blooms
(overall) early
Yield
  1 - 3 years ( clone)

Japanese plums are native to the Yangtze River basin.   From there, they were brought to the rest of eastern China where they were cultivated for 3000 years.   Most of the region is exceedingly wet during the grow season, however, "Japanese" plums aren't nearly as disease resistant as some of the other fruits that originated in a similar area (kiwis and asian persimmons).   The primary cause of brown rot on stone fruits (Monilinia fructicola) was not identified in China until 2005, giving P. salicina no time to develop resistance on their own.

The average July high within the area generally resides around 90F (32.2C).




Prunus spp, plum
  (additional notes)
Asian and, even more so, European plums are highly susceptible to disease in hot, wet climates, while plum species from eastern North America (and possibly some of their hybrids) are fairly resistant.   Tree diseases can be deadly, but the process is generally slow, giving them many years to produce.   Fruit diseases, particularly brown rot, are much more of a nuisance.   Stone fruits are most susceptible during the last 2 or 3 weeks before ripening.   Higher sugar content will increase susceptibility as well.   Brown rot can be active in a wide range of temperatures, but activity begins to decrease below 68F (20C) and above 77F (25C).  

Giving your fruit good sun exposure and planting the most resistant cultivars will help, however, it may be impossible to get fruit from Asian or European species in the southeastern quarter of the United States without the use of fungicides, and even then, the most susceptible may continue to struggle.   Some of the hybrids that "may" be able to thrive in such an environment require low chilling, making them inappropriate for more inland areas since they tend to wake up from dormancy too early to avoid frost damage.   Chickasaw plums (Prunus angustifolia), such as Robusto and Excelsior, are the only ones I know of that have a very high chance of thriving (as they are native to the area), and I'm assuming this is without spraying too.

Most Asian and European plums (and probably hybrids as well) are also somewhat susceptible to cracking.   Assuming disease is under control, you should be able to get a decent crop regularly, but a poorly timed rainfall around maturity can ruin most of your plums.   The best way to avoid this issue is to plant multiple cultivars that ripen at different times.   Even a few days difference may be able to help.   In some cases, a crop of mature fruit from one cultivar can be completely ruined, while a crop from another can be quite fine, but the same results may not be repeated elsewhere.

"Self-fertile" plums are often quite unreliable when planted alone.   You are better off assuming they are self-sterile and just get a second, compatible cultivar for cross-pollination.   European plums (Prunus domestica) cannot pollinate any other common plum species (and vice-versa), but the other species can typically pollinate each other, to some extent, as long as their bloom overlaps.   In some cases, plum cultivars from the same species cannot pollinate each other.   American hybrids are self-sterile and most will struggle to pollinate each other.   You will have to use a wild north american (e.g.  Prunus Americana and Prunus Nigra) or asian species (with an overlapping bloom) for cross-pollination.

American hybrids are more reliable producers than Japanese plums in climates that regularly experience late frost.   They bloom slightly later and I suspect they have additional resistance to cold temperatures as well (semi-confirmed in some cases).   European plums bloom later than both.

I am currently unaware of a single American or Asian x American hybrid that doesn't have tart skin, but the level of tartness can vary between cultivars.   The skin of the majority of Asian plums are probably tart to some degree, and I believe the skin of most popular European plums are non-tart or somewhat tart.

Plums that ripen "very late" may struggle to mature in areas with roughly 140 or less frost free days and an average July high in the low 80F's.



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European Plum
Prunus domestica

Autumn Sweet

prices
Zone
:
3b (3a)
Ripens
🥝:
late (mid-late)
Color
:
dark purple or blue skin

Quality and yield are superior to Italian.

crisp
precocious? stores well?

Bavay's Green Gage

prices
Originated in Belgium
Zone
:
4?
Ripens
🥝:
very late
Size
:
1.25" x 1.25" fruit
Color
:
yellow-green skin

semi-dwarf / hangs well (several weeks) / gage-type

Blau De Belgique

prices
Bred in Belgium (1850)
Alias
:
Belgian Purple
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Stone
:
freestone or semi-freestone
Color
:
purple skin

Blue Byrd

prices
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Size
:
2" long
Color
:
dark purple to blue skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to black knot.

mildly precocious?

Blues Jam

prices
Furst x unknown. Introduced in New York.
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
very late
Stone
:
freestone
Size
:
20g/fruit
Color
:
dark purple or blue skin
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to black knot and possibly brown rot (has at least a little more resistance than the average plum).

Blues Jam is either a damson-type plum that produces heavily and is primarily used for processing.

astringent / dense / stores well

Cambridge Gage

prices
Blooms
🌸:
mid-late?   :   later or hardier than other gage-type plums
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Color
:
green skin

semi-dwarf / gage-type

Castleton

prices
Valor x Iroquois. Developed in New York (1993).
Zone
:
4 (3)
Ripens
🥝:
mid (mid-late)
Stone
:
freestone or semi-freestone
Color
:
purple or blue skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot.  
Susceptible to bacterial spot.

precocious / hangs well / may ripen asynchronously

Coe's Golden Drop

prices
Originated in England (1800)
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
very late
Stone
:
freestone
Size
:
2" x 2" fruit
Color
:
yellow skin, purple blush
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to black knot.

juicy

Early Italian

prices
Originated near Yakima, Washington, introduced in 1935.
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
late? (mid-late)   :   1 to 2 weeks before Italian.
Chill
:
800
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
dark purple to blue skin

sweeter than Italian

Early Laxton

prices
Zone
:
4
Ripens
🥝:
early?   :   one of the first euro plums to ripen
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
orange-yellow skin with a heavy red-pink blush
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to bacterial canker.

Empress

prices
President x Emily
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
very late
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
2" H x 1.5" W fruit
Color
:
dark purple to blue skin
Storage
:
2 months

at least somewhat precocious

Ersinger

prices
Originated in Germany
Zone
:
5 (4)
Ripens
🥝:
mid? (early-mid)
Size
:
1.5"H x 1.25"W fruit
Color
:
purple skin or blue skin

The only flavor report I have seen on Ersinger was negative.

Ewing Blue

prices
Zone
:
4a
Ripens
🥝:
mid? (early-mid)
Stone
:
freestone?
Color
:
dark purple or blue skin

Geneva Mirabelle

prices
Selected in New York (1950)
Zone
:
5 (4)
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late?
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
orange-yellow skin, heavy purple-red blush

mirabelle-type

Golden Transparent Gage

prices
Zone
:
4?
Ripens
🥝:
very late
Color
:
yellow skin, red blush

semi-dwarf / gage-type

Gras Romanesc

prices
Zone
:
5 (4)
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Size
:
1" fruit
Color
:
purple skin

25%+ brix can be fairly common

somewhat crisp / stores well

Gros Ameliorat

prices
Developed in Romania
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
late?
Stone
:
clingstone
Size
:
1" fruit
Color
:
purple skin

Honeysweet

prices
Bluebyrd x open pollination. Released in West Virginia
Zone
:
5 (4)
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Size
:
2" H x 1.5" W / 50g per fruit
Afflictions
:
Very resistant plum pox virus (GMO).   Resistant to black knot.

Resistance to the Plum Pox Virus was obtained through genetic engineering.   It is the first genetically modified plum cultivar to be released to the public, which makes plums the second genetically modified fruit to be released (papayas being the first).

Imperial Epineuse

prices
Originated in the Clairac commune of France (1870)
Zone
:
4a (4b)
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
blue or maroon skin

Italian

prices
Zone
:
4
Ripens
🥝:
very late? (late)
Chill
:
800
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
dark purple to blue skin

Jam Session

prices
Late Muscatel x open pollination
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
late
Stone
:
freestone or semi-freestone
Size
:
7/8" L x 3/4" W, 15g per fruit
Color
:
dark blue or purple skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot.   Somewhat resistant to brown rot.

Damson-type / non-astringent / biennial if overcropped
hangs well?

Jefferson

prices
Developed in New York
Zone
:
5
Blooms
🌸:
early?   :   may bloom earlier than other European plums for some people (along with Asian plums).   bloomed normally further north.
Color
:
yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to black knot.

Reports on Jefferson plum have been quite disappointing (bland).

gage-type
precocious?

Jubileum

prices
Developed in Sweden
Zone
:
4
Ripens
🥝:
mid (mid-late)
Stone
:
freestone?
Color
:
burgundy skin of various shades

stores well / biennial if overcropped (may not be as sensitive as the Victoria plum)
victoria-type?

Kenmore

prices
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
late
Stone
:
freestone
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to black knot.

Kenmore is similar but superior to Stanley in many ways (such as productivity, disease resistance, etc...), with one exception being flavor, both of which are inferior to many other cultivars.

Kirke's Blue

prices
Originated in England (1830)
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
purple or blue skin

juicy

Long John

prices
Bred in New York (1993)
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
late
Stone
:
freestone
Size
:
50g/fruit
Color
:
purple or blue skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to bacterial spot.  
Susceptible to bacterial canker.

semi-dwarf (10-12ft tall)

Middleburg

prices
Ripens
🥝:
very late   :   probably later than many other "very late" plums
Size
:
1.5" x 1.5" fruit
Color
:
blue or dark purple skin
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to black knot.

Mirabelle De Nancy

prices
Originated in France during the 1800's
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late?
Stone
:
freestone
Size
:
1" fruit
Color
:
yellow skin

mirabelle-type

Moldavian

prices
Ripens
🥝:
very late? (late)
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
purple-pink skin

semi-dwarf

Monsieur Hatif

prices
Originated in France
Alias
:
Early Orleans
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
purple skin? possibly maroon or burgundy

Mount Royal

prices
Discovered in Quebec before 1903, possibly before 1850
Zone
:
4a (2b)
Ripens
🥝:
mid? (mid-late)   :   2 to 4 weeks after Opal
Stone
:
freestone or semi-freestone, small pit
Size
:
1", 23g/fruit
Color
:
dark purple to blue skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to black knot.

Mount Royal produces better quality fruit than Stanley and many other cold hardy plums, regardless of species.

semi-dwarf

Northern Blue

prices
Mount Royal x open pollination. Developed in Wyoming.
Zone
:
3?
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Color
:
blue skin

precocious / semi-dwarf

Opal

prices
Oullins Gage x Early Favourite. Bred in Alnarp, Sweden (1925).
Zone
:
3b   :   died back to the ground at -40F (-40C) = 3a, bordering 2b
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid   :   2 to 4 weeks before Mount Royal
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
up to 1.5" fruit
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to plum pox virus?

Opal is precocious for a European plum, capable of producing 3 years after planting.  

The plums may ripen asynchronously throughout a period of 1 or 2 weeks and may drop from the tree when fully ripe.   Sugar content may be more sensitive to shade and early picking.

juicy / half gage-type

Parfume De September

prices
Ripens
🥝:
late?   :   2 weeks after other Mirabelle plums
Size
:
1" fruit
Color
:
yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to black knot.

mirabelle-type

Petite Soeur De La Mont Royal

prices
Zone
:
3b

Petite Soeur de la Mont Royal is believed to be a (more cold hardy) seedling of Mount Royal.   Similar high quality fruit as Mount Royal.

President

prices
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
very late
Stone
:
semi-freestone?
Color
:
dark purple or blue skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot.

grown commercially in the Northwest.

Purple Gage

prices
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Stone
:
freestone, small pit
Color
:
purple or blue skin

Purple Gage is also called Reine Claude Violette.

gage-type

Reine Claude Conducta

prices
Alias
:
Count Althann's Gage
Zone
:
3b (3a)
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late?
Color
:
pink-purple skin

somewhat crisp / gage-type

Reine Claude De Oullins

prices
unknown parentage. Discovered in France (1850's).
Zone
:
4
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid
Color
:
green skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to bacterial spot.

gage-type

Reine Claude Doree

prices
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late?
Color
:
yellow-green skin

gage-type

Reine De Mirabelle

prices
Zone
:
5
Blooms
🌸:
mid-late
Ripens
🥝:
late?   :   1 or 2 weeks after other Mirabelle plums
Color
:
yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot.

Reine de Mirabelle is a cross between a mirabelle-type plum and a gage-type.   The fruit are larger than other mirabelle plums.

Rosy Gage

prices
Imperial Epineuse x unknown
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Color
:
pink-purple skin
Afflictions
:
Very susceptible to brown rot and black knot.

Rosy Gage plums ripen asynchronously and may produce less firm fruit than the average European plum.

Sanctus Hubertus

prices
Originated in Belgium
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Color
:
blue or dark maroon skin

Schoolhouse

prices
Discovered in Washington
Ripens
🥝:
mid
Color
:
yellow skin

Seneca

prices
Fellenberg x Prinlew. Introduced in New York (1972)
Zone
:
4 (3)
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Size
:
large fruit
Color
:
purple or burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot.

semi-dwarf?

Stanley

prices
Agen x Grand Duke. Introduced in Geneva, New York (1926).
Zone
:
4a
Ripens
🥝:
late
Chill
:
800
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
purple to blue skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to bacterial spot.  
Susceptible to black knot.

Stanley is generally not recommended for fresh eating since there are plenty of other cultivars that are considered to be better.  

precocious?

Valerie

prices
Valor x California Blue. Originated in Vineland, Ontario. V70031
Zone
:
5?
Ripens
🥝:
mid
Stone
:
semi-freestone to clingstone
Color
:
purple or blue skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to bacterial spot.

Valerie supposedly produces a fairly large plum for an early ripening cultivar, but I wonder about its flavor since it is mentioned for being mild and lacking in acidity.   How does it compare to other early ripening cultivars?

The fruit do not hang on the tree for long once they mature.  

Valerie appears to be less cold hardy than most other cultivars.   Overall, it is highly experimental, so unless you have the extra room, I'd avoid it.   Most of what we do know at this time leans on the negative side.

Valor

prices
Imperial Epineuse x Grand Duke. Developed in Vineland, Ontario (1967).
Zone
:
4
Ripens
🥝:
very late
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Color
:
dark purple skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to bacterial spot.  
Susceptible to black knot.

Vanette

prices
Early Rivers x Stanley. Developed in Vineland, Ontario. V66071
Zone
:
5?
Ripens
🥝:
mid (mid-late)   :   a few days after Valerie
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
purple or blue skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to bacterial spot.

Victoria

prices
Discovered in England (1840)
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Stone
:
freestone or semi-freestone
Color
:
pink-red skin, golden yellow blush

victoria-type
biennial if overcropped?

Victory

prices
Vision x Valor
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
late
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
2" fruit
Color
:
purple-pink skin

precocious

Violette

prices
Originated in Vineland, Ontario. V72511
Zone
:
5?
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
large fruit
Color
:
purple-pink skin

Vision

prices
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
very late
Stone
:
freestone, small pit
Size
:
1.5" x 1.5", 55g
Color
:
dark purple skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to bacterial spot.  
Somewhat susceptible to black knot?

Voyageur

prices
Developed in Vineland, Ontario
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
mid (mid-late)

Voyageur plums drop when mature.

Japanese Plum
Prunus salicina

Beauty

prices
Zone
:
5
Blooms
🌸:
early-mid
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid
Chill
:
250
Color
:
red skin, red flesh
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot.

Beauty tends to lack flavor, although, some have claimed that it develops good flavor if grown in a region that receives high temperatures early in the grow season.  

precocious

Brookgold

prices
Introduced in Brooks, Alberta (1979)
Zone
:
2a
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid?
Stone
:
freestone
Size
:
1" fruit
Color
:
yellow skin

Burbank

prices
The seed originated from Japan, imported to the US in 1883. Named in 1887.
Zone
:
5a
Ripens
🥝:
mid? (mid-late)
Chill
:
400
Stone
:
semi-freestone or clingstone
Color
:
burgundy skin, yellow blush
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to bacterial spot.

Heavy production can cause Burbank to break limbs or produce biennially if some of the fruit are not quickly thinned out.   The tree is considered to be smaller than many other Japanese plum trees.   Usually labeled as a Japanese plum, I have seen two sources claim it's a plumcot.   Burbank doesn't seem to be well liked, better off getting something else.

firm / precocious / long harvest season

Cocheco

prices
Zone
:
4
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid
Color
:
red skin

ornamental maroon leaves throughout the grow season.

Crimson

prices
Developed in Alabama
Stone
:
clingstone
Color
:
red skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot and bacterial canker.

Early Golden

prices
Ripens
🥝:
early
Stone
:
freestone
Size
:
28g/fruit
Color
:
yellow skin, red blush
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to bacterial spot.

firm / biennial if over-cropped

Elephant Heart

prices
Originated in Sebastopol, California (1929).
Zone
:
5
Blooms
🌸:
early-mid
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late?
Chill
:
500
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
tan skin to a dark red-purple as it fully ripens, red flesh
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to black knot.

hangs well

Emerald Beaut

prices
Zone
:
5?
Blooms
🌸:
early-mid
Ripens
🥝:
late?
Chill
:
600-700
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
yellow-green skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to black knot.

Emerald Beaut plums can hang on the tree for roughly 2 months after they mature, and the longer they remain, the sweeter they get.   They also retain much of their original crisp and crunchy texture as they hang.

Fofonoff

prices
Developed in Buchanan, Saskatchewan (1973)
Zone
:
2a (1a)
Stone
:
clingstone
Color
:
yellow skin

Fortune

prices
Originated in Fresno, California (1988).
Zone
:
5?
Ripens
🥝:
late
Chill
:
500
Stone
:
semi-freestone or clingstone
Color
:
purple-red skin, yellow blush
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to bacterial spot.

firm

Golden Nectar

prices
seedling of Mariposa
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
very late   :   may not ripen in cool summer climates
Chill
:
400-500
Stone
:
freestone, small pit
Size
:
large fruit
Color
:
yellow skin

firm

Ivanovka

prices
Developed in Morden, Manitoba (1939)
Zone
:
2a
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Color
:
yellow skin? red blush?

firm

Mariposa

prices
Alias
:
Improved Satsuma
Zone
:
4?
Blooms
🌸:
early-mid
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Chill
:
250-300
Stone
:
freestone, small pit
Size
:
large fruit
Color
:
red-purple skin over green, red flesh
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to black knot.

Mariposa is also known as Improved Satsuma, but it currently appears that, when it comes to flavor, the original Satsuma is superior.

Mariposa can hang on the tree for up to 3 weeks when ripe.

Methley

prices
Zone
:
4
Ripens
🥝:
very early
Chill
:
150-250
Stone
:
clingstone
Color
:
red-purple skin, red flesh
Afflictions
:
Very susceptible to black knot.

Methley is generally not recommended.   There are plenty of other cultivars that taste better.  

juicy

NY 1502

prices
Abundance x Methley. Developed in New York.
Zone
:
5?
Ripens
🥝:
early?
Color
:
yellow skin, red blush

NY 1502 is a possible replacement for "Early Golden".

Ozark Premier

prices
Burbank x Methley. Introduced in Missouri (1946).
Zone
:
5
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Stone
:
clingstone, small pit
Size
:
2" fruit
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to bacterial spot.

Ozark Premier supposedly develops a better flavor when excessive fruit production is thinned out early.  

precocious / hangs well
ripens asynchronously?

Ptitsin 5

prices
Zone
:
3? (2)
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid?
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
green skin

Ptitsin #5 stores well for an Asian plum, but they do not hang well.   let them ripen on the counter for a few days.

firm

Santa Rosa

prices
Zone
:
5b
Blooms
🌸:
early-mid?
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid?
Chill
:
300
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to black knot.

The flesh near the stone of Santa Rosa is also tart (in addition to the skin, which is quite common for Asian and American plums).

firm

Satsuma

prices
Originated in Japan, Introduced to the US in 1889.
Zone
:
4? (5a)
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Chill
:
300
Stone
:
semi-freestone or clingstone
Color
:
dark burgundy skin, red flesh
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to black knot.

Shiro

prices
Originated in California (1899).
Zone
:
5? (4)
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid?   :   highly contradicting reports on ripening date.   very early to mid season, leaning towards the latter.
Chill
:
400-500
Stone
:
clingstone
Color
:
yellow skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot.  
Somewhat susceptible to brown rot (less susceptible than most plums)?

I don't know if it was picked too early, watered too much, or mislabeled, but in my opinion, Shiro was a horrible plum.   People only seem to grow this variety because it's widely known for being a very reliable producer, otherwise they prefer the flavor of other plums.

I believe the ones I tried were quite yellow, not primarily orange.   It sounds like if you let them hang long enough for them to turn orange-yellow, they're alright.

juicy

Vampire

prices
Zone
:
4?
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Color
:
red skin, red flesh

juicy

Vanier

prices
Wickson x Burbank
Zone
:
5?
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late? (mid)
Stone
:
clingstone
Color
:
red skin
Storage
:
2-3 weeks
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to bacterial spot?

Heavy production may cause the limbs to break.  

precocious / stores well for a Japanese plum / ripens asynchronous / may drop shortly after maturing

Weeping Santa Rosa

prices
Zone
:
5
Chill
:
200-400
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to black knot.

Weeping Santa Rosa has superior flavor when compared to the original Santa Rosa.

ornamental weeping form / semi-dwarf (8 to 10ft tall)

Hybrid Plum
Prunus hybrid

Alderman

prices
P. Salicina x P. Americana. Originated in Minnesota
Zone
:
4a
Blooms
🌸:
mid
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late
Stone
:
clingstone
Size
:
2" fruit
Color
:
red skin, possibly with shades of orange, pink, or purple

The flavor of Toka, Black Ice, and Superior are typically preferred over Alderman.

precocious / ornamental red leaves in the fall

AU Rosa

prices
backcrosses involving Starcher No. 1 (P. angustifolia) and primarily Santa Rosa (P. salicina) or seedlings of the two.
Zone
:
5b (5a)
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid
Chill
:
700
Stone
:
clingstone
Size
:
1.5" to 2.25" fruit
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to brown rot, black knot, bacterial spot, and sun scald.

firm

AU Rubrum

prices
Chill
:
700
Stone
:
clingstone
Size
:
2.25" to 2.5" fruit
Color
:
burgundy skin, red flesh
Afflictions
:
Resistant to bacterial canker and bacterial spot.   Resistant to black knot? Somewhat resistant to brown rot and leaf scald.

one of the better quality AU plums
firm

Black Ice

prices
P. besseyi x ? (Oka (P. salicina) x Z’s Blue Giant (P. salicina)).  Bred in Wisconsin (2006).
Zone
:
4a
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid? (mid)
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
2" fruit
Color
:
dark purple or black skin, red flesh
Afflictions
:
Resistant to bacterial spot.

Multiple reports in Alberta, Canada indicate that Black Ice (previously known as Lydecker) is only hardy down to zone 4a in-spite of some nurseries claiming 3b.   This may ultimately be the result of a vulnerability to some other form of winter damage, considering multiple people have reported severe or complete dieback in Zones 3b to 5a, while their other nearby cultivars endured perfectly fine.   Other people in Zone 4 and 5 have not experienced this problem.  

Heavy production can cause limbs to break and the tree to produce biennially if the fruit are not quickly thinned out.

juicy

Brookred

prices
Zone
:
3a?
Stone
:
freestone?
Color
:
dark red skin

Brookred is a very unreliable plum for some people.   When it does manage to fruit, cracking becomes an issue.   The buds may have some type of vulnerability to cold temperatures or late frosts other hybrids don't seem to share.

Gulf Beauty

prices
Released in Florida (1998)
Chill
:
225 - 250
Stone
:
clingstone
Size
:
1.75" fruit, 55+ grams
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to bacterial canker.   Resistant to bacterial spot and leaf scald.

Gulf Beauty plums ripen roughly 75 days after pollination in Florida.   Ripe fruit can hang on the tree for 7-10 days.

firm

Gulf Blaze

prices
Originated in Florida
Chill
:
250
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
up to 2" fruit, 70-80 grams
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to bacterial canker.   Resistant to bacterial spot and leaf scald.

firm

Gulf Gold

prices
Developed in Umatilla, Florida
Chill
:
250
Color
:
yellow skin, orange blush
Afflictions
:
Resistant to bacterial canker?
Susceptible to leaf scald.

semi-dwarf

Gulf Rose

prices
Developed in Florida
Chill
:
275
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
up to 2" fruit, 70-80 grams
Color
:
deep burgundy skin and deep burgundy flesh
Afflictions
:
Very resistant to bacterial canker.   Resistant to bacterial spot.  
Susceptible to leaf scald.

Gulf Rose produces firm plums that have a good shelf-life (details unknown).  

firm / stores well for a Japanese plum / precocious (2nd year)

Gulf Ruby

prices
Developed in Umatilla, Florida (1982)
Chill
:
225
Stone
:
clingstone
Size
:
up to 2" fruit
Color
:
red-purple skin
Afflictions
:
Susceptible to bacterial canker.

Gulf Ruby's susceptibility to bacterial canker may limit its lifespan to 5-8 years in wet climates.   Ripe fruit can hang on the tree for up to 3-5 days.

La Crescent

prices
Shiro (P. Salicina) x Howard Yellow (P. Americana)
Zone
:
3b?
Blooms
🌸:
mid?   :   some contradicting information on bloom time, may bloom earlier than most other hybrids, but more evidence points to later than other hybrids.
Stone
:
freestone

A few people have confirmed its mild apricot flavor, but it may not be consistent, at least in less than ideal environments.   The overall flavor and texture are considered to be inferior.

Lavina

prices
P. cerasifera x P. salicina. Developed in Lithuania.
Zone
:
5? (4)
Blooms
🌸:
early   :   slightly earlier than other hybrids, more aligned with Japanese plums.
Ripens
🥝:
early?   :   before Shiro
Stone
:
freestone, small pit
Size
:
30g/fruit
Color
:
red skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot.   Somewhat resistant to brown rot?

Obilnaja

prices
P. salicina x P. cerasifera. Originated in Yalta.
Zone
:
5a
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid
Stone
:
freestone, small pit
Size
:
40g/fruit
Color
:
dark purple skin
Afflictions
:
Resistant to black knot and bacterial spot.  
Somewhat susceptible to brown rot (less susceptible than most plums)?

well colored long before ripening

Patterson Pride

prices
Developed in Saskatchewan, Canada (1960).
Zone
:
2
Ripens
🥝:
mid-late?   :   later than most other hybrids grown in Canada
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
1.5" to 2" fruit
Color
:
red skin

firm / ornamental weeping form / semi-dwarf

Pembina

prices
Assiniboine (P. Nigra) x Red June (P. Salicina). Introduced in South Dakota (1917).
Zone
:
2b (2a)
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
2" fruit
Color
:
red skin

juicy

Purple Heart

prices
Zone
:
4
Blooms
🌸:
mid
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid (mid)
Color
:
burgundy or purple skin, red flesh
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to black knot.  
Somewhat susceptible to brown rot (less susceptible than most plums)?

firm / hangs well / skin isn't as tart as most other hybrids and possibly asians as well

South Dakota

prices
P. americana x unknown. possibly not a hybrid.  Developed in South Dakota (early 1900's). Released in Minnesota (1949).
Zone
:
3
Blooms
🌸:
mid?   :   extended bloom
Ripens
🥝:
late   :   after most other hybrids
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
pink-red skin, orange blush

Sprite

prices
P. cerasifera x P. salicina
Zone
:
4
Blooms
🌸:
early   :   slightly earlier than other hybrids, more aligned with Japanese plums.
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Chill
:
400
Stone
:
freestone
Color
:
dark purple, blue, grey, maroon, or black skin

semi-dwarf (8 to 10ft tall) / long harvest season / well colored long before ripening

Superior

prices
Burbank (P. Salicina) x Kaga (P. Americana x P. Simonii). Originated in Minnesota (1933).
Zone
:
4a (3b)
Blooms
🌸:
early-mid
Ripens
🥝:
mid (mid-late)
Stone
:
clingstone
Size
:
2" x 2" fruit, maybe bigger
Color
:
red skin

Superior is very precocious.   This can be a problem because the branches are weak and will struggle for a few years if the fruit aren't thinned out.   Heavy production without immediate thinning can also cause the tree to produce biennially.

Ripe plums hang well on the tree.

Many cold hardy Japanese x American hybrid plums have a good reputation when it comes to flavor, but the "Superior" cultivar seems to have a slight edge.

juicy / semi-dwarf / semi-weeping form

Toka

prices
P. americana x P. simonii.  Developed in South Dakota (1911).
Zone
:
3   :   Toka might be a decent pollinator for other hybrids, but you're generally going to want a pure P.  nigra or P.  americana
Blooms
🌸:
mid   :   slightly later than most Japanese and hybrid plums.   extended bloom
Ripens
🥝:
mid? (mid-late)
Stone
:
semi-freestone
Size
:
1.5" fruit
Color
:
burgundy skin

Toka is also called "Bubblegum" because many claim it tastes like bubblegum.   If I recall correctly, I have had these before, and while I did taste a hint of bubblegum, the flavor, in my opinion, was mostly a combination of plum and banana.   It was quite good, but after a few days on the table, it lost its complex flavor.  

Very well liked, probably the most popular hybrid plum in the US, closely followed by Black Ice.

firm / ornamental red leaves in the fall

Underwood

prices
Shiro (Asian hybrid) x Wyant (P. Americana). Developed in Minnesota (1921)?
Zone
:
3
Blooms
🌸:
early-mid   :   extended bloom?
Ripens
🥝:
early-mid
Stone
:
semi-freestone or clingstone
Size
:
2" fruit
Color
:
burgundy skin
Afflictions
:
Somewhat resistant to brown rot.

juicy / ornamental yellow leaves in the fall

Waneta

prices
Apple (P. Salicina) x Terry (P. Americana). Originated in South Dakota (1913).
Zone
:
3
Blooms
🌸:
mid? (early-mid)
Ripens
🥝:
mid?
Stone
:
clingstone
Size
:
1.5" to 2" fruit
Color
:
burgundy skin

Waneta has fairly thick, tart skin, but it's easy to peel.