List of Plum Tree Names and Types

Picture of Plum Trees
Plum Trees (Prunus domestica)
Picture of Plum trees in an Orchard,
(Prunus domestica)
for Plum Tree identification.
The Plum Tree

There are at least 28 species of Plum Tree, most will grow to 12m (39.4ft) in height and have a canopy of about 10m (32.8ft) across. The foliage and growth habit differs a little between species, with the difference in the fruit being the most noticeable in some cases.

Plum Tree Fruit

The Plum Trees are well known for their fruit, the "Plum". The Plum fruit flesh is firm and juicy. The fruit's peel is smooth, with a natural waxy surface that adheres to the flesh. Mature plum fruit may have a dusty-white coating that gives them a glaucous appearance. This is an epicuticular wax coating and is known as "wax bloom".

Of all the species of Plum Trees, two species are grown the most for commercial fruit production worldwide, the hexaploid European plum tree (Prunus domestica) and the diploid Japanese plum tree (Prunus salicina and hybrids).

The plum is botanically known as a drupe, meaning its fleshy fruit surrounds a single hard seed, a smooth stone (or pit). The fruit has a groove running down one side from top to bottom.

Dried plum fruits are called dried plums or prunes, although true "Prunes" are actually a distinct type of plum.

Facts about Plum Trees of the Genus Prunus; Subgenus Prunus
  • Subgenus Latin Scientific Name: Prunus
  • Subgenus Latin Name Pronunciation: PROO-nus
  • Subgenus Latin Name Meaning: Plum family
  • Subgenus Common Names: Plum. List of other Plum Vernacular Names
  • Number of Plum Species: 35 (numerous cultivars exist, see list of Plum Tree Cultivars)
List of Plum Trees, All known Plum species, taxa types, organized by scientific Latin botanical name first and common names second
List of Plum Trees (Prunus; Subgenus Prunus) Species Names
Botanical Tree NameCommon Tree Name
Prunus alleghaniensis Allegheny plum, Flatwoods plum, Hog plum, Sloe plum
Prunus americana American plum, American red plum, Goose plum, (Spanish; ciruelo americano), (French; prunier américain)
Prunus angustifolia Chickasaw plum, Cherokee plum, Mountain cherry, Florida sand plum, Sand plum, Sandhill plum
Prunus cerasifera Cherry plum, Myrobalan plum, (français: Prunier myrobalan)
Prunus cocomilia Italian plum
Prunus domestica Plum Trees and Prunes (français: Prunier), (Deutsch: Pflaume)
Prunus domestica ssp. domestica Common plums, Zwetschge (including ssp. oeconomica)
Prunus domestica ssp. insititia Damson plum, Bullace, Krieche, Kroosjes, Perdrigon and other European varieties
Prunus domestica ssp. intermedia Egg plum, Victoria plum
Prunus domestica ssp. italica Gage plum, Gage
Prunus domestica ssp. italica var. claudianaGreengage plum, Greengage, Reine claude (German; Reineclaude)
Prunus domestica ssp. italica var. subrotunda Round plum, Ontario plum, (German; Rundpflaume, Edelrundpflaume), (Austria; Punze)
Prunus domestica ssp. italica var. vinariaWeinkriech
Prunus domestica ssp. pomariorum Spilling plum
Prunus domestica ssp. prisca Zibarte
Prunus domestica ssp. syriaca Mirabelle plums
Prunus fruticans (français: Prunellier à gros fruits), (Deutsch: Haferschlehe)
Prunus geniculata Scrub plum, Maiden pink
Prunus gracilis Oklahoma plum, Sand plum
Prunus hortulana Hortulan plum, Wild goose plum
Prunus maritima Beach plum, Shore plum
Prunus mexicana Mexican plum
Prunus munsoniana Wild goose plum, Wildgrove plum, Creek plum, Hog plum
Prunus murrayana Murray's plum, Murray plum
Prunus nigra Black plum, Canada plum
Prunus ramburii Espino negro, Endrino de sierra nevada
Prunus rivularis (Possibly a Synonym of Prunus munsoniana)
Prunus salicina Japanese plum, Chinese plum (中国李), Willow-leaf cherry, (Deutsch: Chinesische Pflaume)
Prunus simonii Apricot plum, Simon plum, (French; prunier abricotier, prunier Kelsey), (German; Simons Pflaume, Simons Pflaumenbaum)
Prunus spinosa Blackthorn, Sloe, (Some Grafted Trees Known as Husband and wife trees), (Deutsch: Schlehdorn), (français: Prunelier), (español: Endrina)
Prunus ursina Bear's plum, ( خوخ الدب )
Prunus subcordata Sierra plum, Oregon plum, Klamath plum, Pacific plum, Western plum
Prunus umbellata (Possibly a Synonym of Prunus alleghaniensis)
Prunus ussuriensis (Japanese; mansyû-sumomo), (Russian; слива уссурийская)
Prunus vachuschtii Alycha plum (Georgian; alucha)

Plum Tree List last up-dated on

Plum Tree Cultivars

  • Damson plums - The damason, damson plum or "damascene" (Prunus domestica ssp. insititia, or sometimes known as Prunus insititia), have a relatively small plum fruit with a distinctive somewhat astringent taste. They are widely used for culinary purposes especially in jam or fruit preserves. The name damson comes from Middle English damascene, damesene, damasin, and ultimately from the Latin "prunum damascenum"; = "plum of Damascus". 
    • 'Farleigh Damson' (syn. 'Crittenden's Prolific', 'Strood Cluster') is named after the village of East Farleigh in Kent, England, where it was raised by James Crittenden in the early 19th century. It has small, roundish, black fruit, with a blue bloom, and is a very heavy fruit bearer. Its heavy cropping led to it being widely planted in England.
    • 'Shropshire Prune' (syn. 'Prune Damson', 'Long Damson', 'Damascene', 'Westmoreland Damson', 'Cheshire Damson') is a very old variety. It has blue-purple, ovoid fruit, and a distinctively "full rich astringent" flavor considered superior to other damsons. It is thought that this was the variety that became specifically associated with the old name "damascene". The local types often known as the "Westmoreland samson" and "Cheshire samson" are described as synonymous with the Shropshire Prune by the horticulturalist Harold Taylor and others. The Shropshire Prune was also the best-known variety of damson plum in the United States.
    • 'Aylesbury Prune' (syn. 'Bucks Prune', 'Michaelmas Prune'), is similar to the Shropshire Prune and possibly part of the same landrace. It s a semi-wild plum of damson type from the area of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire centred arround Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire. It is relatively large-fruited and is considered by growers to have a high resistance to the silver leaf disease. It is reputed to be poor for canning. Along with the Victoria plum, the Aylesbury Prune was one of the parents of the culinary plum 'Laxton's Cropper'. Although orchards of the Aylesbury Prune are now rare, Aylesbury Vale District Council of Buckinghamshire England has made efforts to conserve it.
    • 'Frogmore' is a cultivar first grown in the 19th century in the Royal Gardens at Frogmore, in the English county of Berkshire, where it was raised by head gardener Thomas Ingram. It described as having sweet, round-oval, purplish black fruit, which ripens in early September.
    • 'King of the Damsons' (syn. 'Bradley's King') is an English - Nottinghamshire late season variety, making a vigorous and spreading tree with foliage that turns a distinctive yellow in autumn. The medium to large, obovoid purple fruit is relatively sweet with a dry textured flesh.
    • 'Merryweather' is a popular 20th century cultivar, introduced by the firm of Henry Merryweather & Sons of Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England in 1907. The tree's parentage is unknown. It has leaves well above the size of other damsons, and is thought to have at least some culinary plum ancestry. The fruit is deep blue, large, and noticeably sweet when ripe, although having genuine damson astringency.
    • 'Early Rivers', registered in 1871, was raised by Rivers' Nursery from a seed of the variety St Etienne, and has roundish fruit with a chalky bloom. The small, redish purple clingstone damsons ripen as early as mid August, and they have very juicy flesh but lack the true damson flavor.
    • 'Blue Violet' originated in Westmoreland (likely as a hybrid or development of 'Shropshire Prune') and was first sent to the National Fruit Trials in the 1930s. It is an early fruiting tree in August. This cultivar was long thought to have been lost but a few trees were discovered in the English Lake District in 2007.
    • 'Common Damson' (syn. 'Small Round Damson') was a traditional cultivar with small, black fruit, being probably very close to wild specimens. It had a mealy texture and acid flavor, and by the 1940s it was no longer planted.
  • Gage plums and Greengage plums - The gages are a group of cultivars of the common European plum, (Prunus domestica ssp. italica). The Greengages are a variety of the Gages, (Prunus domestica ssp. italica var. claudiana), and all descendants from the original cultivar 'Reine Claude Verte' in France.
    • 'Boddarts Reneclode' (Germany)
    • 'Bryanston' (UK)
    • 'Cambridge Gage' (UK)
    • 'Canerik' (Turkey)
    • 'Denniston's Superb' (USA)
    • 'Gojé Sabz' (Iran)
    • 'Golden Transparent' (UK)
    • 'Graf Althanns Reneklode' (Germany)
    • 'Green Vanilla' (Mount Pelion, Greece)
    • 'Große Grüne Reneklode' (Germany)
    • 'Laxton's Gage' (UK)
    • 'Laxton's Supreme' (UK)
    • 'Meroldts Reneclode' (Germany)
    • 'Rainha Cláudia' (Portugal)
    • 'Regina Claudia' (Italy)
    • 'Reine Claude de Bavay' (France)
    • 'Reine Claude d'Oullins' (France)
    • 'Reine Claude Verte' (France)
    • 'Transparent Gage' (France)
    • 'U'Uhinks Reneklode' (Germany)
    • 'Washington' (USA)
  • Mirabelle plum - The mirabelle plum, also known as the mirabelle prune (Prunus domestica ssp. syriaca), is the edible drupaceous fruit of the mirabelle prune tree.
  • Victoria plum - The Victoria plum is a type of English plum. It has a yellow flesh with a red or mottled skin. This plum is a cultivar of the egg plum group (Prunus domestica ssp. intermedia).
  • Zwetschge - The Zwetschge (Prunus domestica ssp. domestica). The word zwetschge, plural zwetschgen, is from the German language. Variants of the word include: Quetsch(e) (Lorraine, Luxembourg, and regionally in Germany); Zwetschke (regionally in Austria); and Zwetsche (regionally in Germany)

Etymology and Plum Tree Names

In certain parts of the world, some fruits are called plums and are quite different from fruits known as plums in Europe or the Americas. Some examples;

  • Marian plums are popular in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, otherwise also known as gandaria, plum mango, ma-praang, ma-yong, ramania, kundang, rembunia or setar.
  • Japanese plum, popular as pipa or Chinese plums in East Asia and Southeast Asia, and as Japanese medlar, loquat, nispero, bibassier and wollmispel elsewhere.
  • Jambul - In South Asia and Southeast Asia, a fruit from tropical tree in the Myrtaceae family, is similarly sometimes referred to 'damson plums', and it is different from damson plums found in Europe and Americas.
  • Jambul is also called as Java plum, Malabar plum, jaman, jamun, jamblang, jiwat, salam, duhat, koeli, jambuláo or koriang.

Plum (Genus Prunus; Subgenus Prunus) Vernacular Names

English: Plum
Español: Ciruelo
Eesti: Ploomipuu
Français: Prune
Português: Ameixeira, ameixoeira ou ameixieira

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