Mexican plum Rosaceae Prunus
mexicana S. Watson symbol: PRME
Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate to elliptical, 3 to 4 inches long, serrated margin, sharply pointed tip, green above, slightly paler and pubescent beneath (at least along the veins), emerging leaves have densely pubescent petioles, lacking petiole glands.
Flower: White, 5 petals, 1 inch across, long filaments, yellow anthers, appear in small clusters in early spring before the leaves.
Fruit: Fleshy drupe, nearly round, 1 inch across, yellow to reddish purple with some glaucous bloom, ripen in late summer.
Twig: Slender, reddish brown, later developing an exfoliating gray film, leaf scars raised; buds reddish to gray and sharp pointed, some twigs becoming thorns.
Bark: Initially reddish-gray, smooth with numerous horizontal lenticels, later becoming rough with irregular ridges and exfoliating curling strips.
Form: A multi-stemmed, shrubby, non-suckering small tree with a spreading crown reaching up to 30 feet tall with numerous rigid spiny branches.
Looks like: American plum - Chickasaw plum - Callery pear - black cherry
Additional Range Information: Prunus mexicana is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information