Plums belong to the Prunus genus of fruits and are found on trees. Because they feature a stone in the middle that is surrounded by soft, sweet, or tart flesh, plum fruits are a kind of drupe. Plums come in 40 different varieties, and a single plum tree can produce around 100 pounds (45 kg) of medium-sized fruits.
Plums come in a variety of shapes, from oval to round. Skin that is black, purple, red, or yellow in color can also be found. Plums have a delicate and succulent interior, which is usually golden in color. Prunes are made by drying sweet black plums. The dusty-white waxy coating of mature plum fruits gives them a bluish-green or gray appearance. A single plum may range from 0.7″ to 2.7″ (2 to 7 cm) depending on the variety of plum.
Japanese plums (Prunus salicina) and European plums (Prunus domestica) are the two most common varieties. Yellow, black, and red varieties of Japanese varieties are oval or heart-shaped. These plums have hard flesh and are often picked fresh. European plums are used in baking or for making jams and jellies because they are usually very sweet with juicier flesh.
Plums come in a variety of flavors, from sweet to tart. A red sour skin surrounds sweet juicy yellow flesh on certain types of plums, which has a flavor. Plums with dark purple skin and amber-colored flesh are among the sweetest varieties. Plums come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Moyer plum. The flavor of this common plum is delicious. The skin is purple, and the flesh is succulent and amber in color.
- Damsons plum. The dark purple skin and yellowish green flesh of this popular tart-flavored plum.
- Elephant Heart plum.The skin of this kind of cherry is crimson to purple, and the flesh is sweet and juicy.
- Greengage plum. A sweet honey-sweet flavor characterizes this green plum variety.
- Myrobalan plum. A little red or yellow cherry-like fruit.
- Santa Rosa plums
- Blood plum
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular plum hybrid fruits before looking at the various types of plums and prunes.
Plums, Plumcots, Apriums, and Pluots
Apricots, peaches, and nectarines are all drupes that are related to plums. These fruit types may be crossed to generate new varieties of wonderfully sweet stone fruits, according to growers. Naturally occurring fruits combining plums and apricots include plumcots, apriums, and pluots. Here’s a quick overview of these plum crossbreeds:
- Plumcots—Apricots and plums that are half plum and half apricot. The skin color and sweet taste of plums are present in these fruits, which resemble apricot.
- Apriums—The fuzzy skin of these drupes resembles that of apricots and they have more apricot than plum. They have sweet orange flesh, much like apricots.
- Pluots—These aren’t really apricot stones, they’re more plum. They have a distinct plum flavor and appear to be red apricots.
Types of Plums (With Pictures and Common Name)
Let’s take a closer look at the numerous varieties of plums available in local shops. You’ll learn about the greatest plums for fresh consumption as well as the ones that are nicest in cooked and baked goods.
One of the most famous kinds of purple plums is Moyer plums. The skin is dark burgundy to purple, and the flesh is juicy yellow-orange to amber. These are extremely sweet plums. One of the best European plumsshape and flavor is this plum variety. Large plums with a long oval shape and a high sugar content are called Moyer plums. Fresh plum is delicious, while dried plum is used to make sweet prunes.
Late in the season, Moyer plums become ripe. By gently pressing the skin of the plums, you can tell if they’re ripe. If the fruit is ripe, your fingers should leave a slight depression. You must wait until the flesh ripens if it feels hard or doesn’t offer gently.
Damson plums are a common dark-skinned European variety with tart-flavored flesh and skin. Damsons are rich in sugar and have an astringent flavor, unlike many other plums. The strong yellowish-green flesh has a sour flavor, and the purple-blue skin protects it.
Damson plums are very good for adding a bit of tartness to savory or sweet dishes because of their sweet and sour flavor combo. From late August through October, damsons are typically ready for harvest. The damson subspecies Prunus domestica insititia has many cultivars. Blue Violet, Shropshire Prune, Common Damson, and Frogmore are some of the most popular cultivars.
Elephant Heart Plum
The elephant heart plum is a huge, heart-shaped stone fruit with the name to match. Sweet juicy red flesh has a firm texture and is covered with dark red to purple mottled skin. When eaten fresh, these plum types are classified as Japanese plum types and are delicious.
Some say the meat is virtually like drinking juice because it is so velvety and succulent. The sweetness and tartness of these sweet plums are perfectly balanced. The skin has a berry flavor, while the red flesh is acidic while sweet. Between September and October, elephant heart plums are generally ready to be picked.
Greengage Plum (Prunus domestica)
When greengages are ripe, they are one of the few green plum varieties. The little, spherical plums have a wonderfully sweet honey flavor. The firm texture of the succulent flesh is shared by many European plums. The green skin of the greengage plum cultivar may have red blushing or yellow tints to it, depending on the cultivar. Greengage plums are often recommended for desserts by dessert enthusiasts.
In the spring, greengage plum trees bloom, and by late summer and early autumn, the bumper harvests are ready. The fruits are at their sweetest around this time. The skin clings to the pit of this popular European variety, which is a clingstone plum.
Myrobalan (Cherry Plums)
Little spherical fruits resembling red or yellow cherries, myrobalan plums are tiny. Several cherry plum cultivars, each with a slightly different flavor, yield tiny plums. When consumed fresh, the delicious varieties of Myrobalan plums are wonderful. Baking and jelly-making require tarter cultivars.
These plum trees are popular backyard decorative fruit tree types, aside from growing little cherry-like plums. Little garden shrubs or small ornamental fruit trees may be grown as plum trees. In the spring, they are one of the first trees to bloom.
The reddish-purple skin of ‘Santa Rosa’ plums is topped with succulent strawberry-colored flesh. Plums with a spherical form are found in this range. A thin skin protects crisp, succulent meat when you bite into ‘Santa Rosa’ plums. Several people claim that the sweet flavor is similar to cherry-flavored fruit punch, and there isn’t much acidity in it. Plums from Santa Rosa are versatile, and they may be eaten fresh or used in baked goods.
Satsuma (Blood Plum)
The Japanese variety of medium to tiny red round plums known as satsuma plums. This plum cultivar has firm, tough, and sour skin that is maroon in color. The bitter-tasting skin is offset by the deep red flesh, which is very sweet. They have nothing to do with the satsuma plum, despite popular belief.
The rich crimson color of the skin and flesh gives the widespread name blood plum. The flesh of satsuma plums partly clings to the stone, making them a semi-clingstone kind. In comparison to European red plums, these Japanese plums are bigger.
Simca (simka) plums are large, heart-shaped fruits with blueish-purple dusty waxy coating that are popular in Europe. The golden-yellow meat has a delectably sweet flavor and is covered with dark-red skin. Simca plums are bigger and juicer than most Japanese plum varieties. Due to the juicy meat of these luscious plums, they are best eaten fresh.
Because of their bright yellow-orangey skins, mirabelle plums resemble apricots. Mirabelle prunes or cherry plums are two terms for these delicious plums. The sweet amber flesh is exposed when the soft skin is cut open. A stone lies in the middle. These spherical fruits make excellent jellies, jams, and baked goods because of their high sugar content.
Outside of France, it’s unusual to come across these plum trees. Moreover, because the fruit’s delicate flesh does not travel well, you will only find these plums available in France. If you want to cultivate some of the sweetest plums accessible, however, you may plant Mirabelle plum trees in your yard.
Varieties of Sweet Black Plum (With Pictures)
The black plum skin that wraps around the flesh gives it its name. Types of Japanese black plums are often found in grocery stores and supermarkets. The sweet flavor, golden yellow meat, and lack of bitterness are all characteristics.
The cultivar ‘Black Ruby’ is one of the most popular black Japanese plums. The reddish-black skin that surrounds the yellow flesh of this delicious plum is a giveaway. One of the few sweet plum kinds that ripens in late summer is this round plum.
The fact that it’s a freestone variety is one of the reasons this kind of plum is so popular for eating fresh. The sweet, flavorful flesh is easy to bite into, and the stone simply slips away. The clingstone kind of Japanese black plum is the most common.
Friar plums, also known as huge Japanese plums, have sweet, succulent flesh. These round plums have a dark purple skin with a blue dusty wax coating that gives it an opalescent look. The pale orangey-amber flesh of these delectable plums hides a little core.
The plum is a popular variety because of its firm flesh, which makes it delicious to eat fresh. Friar plum fruit trees have a lengthy harvest period, which is one of their advantages. The trees typically produce a bumper crop, and the harvest is ready for harvesting in late August.
The bright yellow flesh and dark, deep purple-red skin of the Japanese plum variety ‘Black Beauty’ When biting into the hard flesh of this drupe fruit, it is exceptionallyjuicy. These dark oval plums are another favorite variety for eating fresh and range in size from medium to huge.
Squeezing the fruit gently will tell you if this plum variety is ready to eat. It’s ready to eat if it’s just slightly soft. You can speed up the ripening process by placing the plums in a paper bag at room temperature if they’re still hard and unripe. ‘Black Beauty’ plums have a great sweet-to-tart balance.
The plums have a lovely sweet flavor and are called “Black Splendor.” The waxy coating gives these delicious plums a smoky appearance, while the skin is dark violet. The dark burgundy flesh that covers the huge pit in the middle of these delicious stone fruits is revealed by biting into them.
Plums are a huge range of plum that ripens early in the season, which is one of the assets of ‘Black Splendor. These plums are a variety to seek out because of their hints of bitterness from the black skin and their sweetness from the beet-colored flesh.
The ‘El Dorado’ cultivar is another kind of sweet black plum. This plum has a pleasant flavor, despite its firm amber-colored flesh. Being one of the most versatile types of black plum available, this plum variety is a excellent all-arounder. In cooking and baking, the firm meat and acidic skin hold up well. This is also a great plum for eating because of its extremely sweet, juicy flesh.
The black, slightly bitter skin and juicy amber-colored flesh give the plum variety ‘Black amber’ its name. The flesh of the black amber is firmer than that of other dark-skinned plums, and it has a distinct sourness to its flavor. Because of the waxy coating that covers most types of prunes, the round plums have a bluish appearance. In the mid- to late summer, this plum cultivar is typically ripe for eating. The hard flesh and sweet-sour flavor of this plum lend richness and texture to a variety of recipes.
Drying fresh plums to make prunes is called the ‘French Prune.’ The drupe fruit is pear-shaped and elongated, similar to a pear. The purple and light blue hues that cover dark amber flesh give the dark, smokey skin a beautiful appearance. In late summer, the French Prune Plume tree produces plums that are ready to pick. The ‘Improved French Prune,’ which produces some of the greatest and juiciest prunes you can consume, is the most popular type in the US.
Italian Prune Plum
The Italian prune variety is a big, oblong, egg-shaped plum with a powdery coating on purple-blue skin that is comparable to the French Prune. Green-amber juicy meat of this freestone plum variety changes to a dark fuchsia color when cooked. The plum tree’s sweetness increases as the fruit ripens. Most of the harvest is dried to make prunes, despite the fact that Italian prune plums are edible fresh. Italian prunes or French prunes are sometimes available in the market.
‘Owen T’ Plums
The cultivar ‘Owen T’ is believed to be the largest plum variety available, if you are looking for the biggest kind. A single plum might be up to 8 ounces (230 grams) and 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. The skins of these huge plums are blue-black, with a light yellow flesh that is ready to eat in mid-season. ‘Owen T’ plums are most often available for harvesting around this time.
‘John W’ Plums
The cultivar ‘John W’ is the other kind of big dark-skinned plum. In terms of size, this plum cultivar is comparable to the Owen T variety. The skin and flesh color of these two cultivars differs. The skin of the John W plum variety is crimson-purple, and the flesh is crimson orange. In comparison to ‘Owen T’ plums, these plums develop later in the season.