Beach plum

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Prunus maritima
BEACH PLUM

Rosaceae
N.E. North America

Location: map coordinates T-5 (near southwest corner of parking lot #6), N 39°11'8'' W 75°32'49''

Planting history: planted 5/6/10. Source: Willey Farms, DE. (Dr. S. Yost, USDA NIFA Capacity Building Grant funds).

Description:
  • deciduous shrub (sometimes a small tree), to 6’ tall, dense growth to 7’ wide
  • etymology: Prunus = Latin name for plum tree; maritima = of the sea
  • flowers white, turning pink; April-May
  • fruit drupe (stone fruit); purple-black to red; edible, eaten raw or in jellies and jams; mature late July-early August in Delaware
  • roots sprout from sand-covered lower branches, forming colonies
  • natural habitat: full sun, sandy soil, coastal dunes; but does well in moderately fertile, slightly acidic, loamy, well-drained soils. Does not do well in heavy clay soils
  • native from Maine to Maryland; hardy to zone 3; in Delaware, dunes of southern Delaware Bay and Atlantic Coast

Native species, State Rank S3 (uncommon, but not of conservation concern, yet), on Delaware coastal plain, in Kent and Sussex Counties
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