Prunus americana

Wild Plum

Rosaceae

Plant Specifics

Form:Tree
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White
Fruit Color:Purple
Phenology:Winter deciduous. Blooms in spring.
Noted for:Showy flowers

Landscaping

Recommended Uses:Specimen tree.
Propagation:Better specimens are grown from cuttings.
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Short very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Short very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Circum-neutral to calcareous

Ecology

Wildlife:

Birds, squirrels, and other animals eat the fruit, and deer may browse the foliage, but the plant is not generally considered ideal food for either.  It is used for hiding and nesting.

Insects:
   

  • Pollinated by bees.
  • Attracts butterflies.
  • Larval host for the Coral Hairstreak, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Red-Spotted Purple, Spring/Summer Azures, and Viceroy butterflies.

Native Habitats:Woodlands.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Comments

Ethnobotany:Fruit is edible but not particularly good. Sometimes used for jellies/preserves. Most other parts of the plant are poisonous.
General Comments:

The range of this species covers much of North America, especially the midwest and mid-to-north Atlantic states and extends into southern Canada.  Florida is the southern limit, and locations documented by herbarium specimens are scattered.  Warm winter termperatures likely interfere with reproduction, and at least one of the southern herbarium specimens appears to be at a location where it could have been deposited by a bird. 

Once established, a gardener could anticipate that this plant will be an attractive bloomer.