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Wild Plum Identification

 
Posts: 47
Location: South East Michigan
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Hello all

I've got some wild plums up here in south east Michigan I'd like to identify... but not sure where to turn. Wild plums seem to all look very similar. The attached photos were taken mid-april, after a week of unseasonably warm weather in the upper 70s. I have some apricot that were blooming, but that's pretty normal for them. I'm in zone 5b.

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gardener
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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I don't want to rain on your identification hopes, but I gave up on plum IDs a few years ago, after consulting the best local book on tree identification.  It basically told me that there are five types of wild plums in Oklahoma and that all of them hybridize freely with each other and with domestic plums.  In the gentlest possible terms it warned that plum ID was virtually impossible without the resources of a botany lab and quite difficult even with one.  

In your shoes if I really wanted to know bad enough, I think I'd contact my county extension office and see if they know of a local plum expert.

 
pollinator
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I have a lot of wild plums on my land.  I have two varieties, "taste good" and "taste not so good".  I save pits from "taste good" and plant.
 
Zachary Bertuzzi
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I know they hybridize, but was hoping someone knew something beyond me. Oh well.

The "tastes good" selection process is definitely the way to go.

Sometimes you just need a couple of folks to remind you to simplify the process.

Thanks!
 
steward
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I like Trace's ID though I would to add Native Plum.

Does your state have a native plum?
 
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I'd be likely to name it something like "That purple plum, that tastes great, that grows in the ditch by the old mill".

 
pollinator
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Location: Southeast Oklahoma - Zone 7B/8A, 50"+ annual precipitation
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Dan Boone wrote:I don't want to rain on your identification hopes, but I gave up on plum IDs a few years ago, after consulting the best local book on tree identification.  It basically told me that there are five types of wild plums in Oklahoma and that all of them hybridize freely with each other and with domestic plums.  In the gentlest possible terms it warned that plum ID was virtually impossible without the resources of a botany lab and quite difficult even with one.  





Haha that makes me (also in Oklahoma! 👋) feel a bit better about my lack of certainty in nailing down an ID for the native plums growing nearby...

I guess I'll have to go with Trace's ID style and say they're small, buy taste pretty good.  In theory could select for fruit size, small pit, and taste over time... (among other things)

 
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