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Prunus angustifolia

Common Name(s):
Chickasaw plum
Categories:
Native Plants, Shrubs, Trees
Comment:

Prunus angustifolia, commonly called Chickasaw plum, is a deciduous multi-stemmed shrub or small tree which occurs in thickets, pastures, fields, fencerows, stream banks and disturbed areas.  It is most often seen in the wild as a 4-10' tall, thicket-forming shrub which freely suckers to form large colonies. Infrequently seen as a small short-trunked tree growing to 25' tall.

Native Americans regularly consumed the fruit fresh or dried it for winter.

Regions:  Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:                     Blooms:   Early spring           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Summer

Wildlife Value:  This plant is frequently damaged by deer.  Its thickets provide good cover for songbirds and small mammals year round.  It is a host plant for 465 moths and butterflies including the Coral Hairstreak, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Red-spotted purple, Spring Azure, and Viceroy butterflies.  Adult butterflies nectar from the spring flowers.  Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, wild turkey, quail, white-tailed deer, and small mammals. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Plum curculio and brown rot can affect the fruit of the Chickasaw plum. Other potential disease problems include leaf spot, canker and black knot. Other potential insect problems include aphids, scale, borers and tent caterpillars.

Height:
4-20 ft.
Flower:
The Chickasaw plum has 2-4 flowered clusters (umbels) of 5-petaled white flowers (1/2" diameter) that appear along the stems in March before the foliage emerges. The flowers are followed by small, cherry-like, edible, red to yellow plums (to 1/2" diameter) which ripen in early to mid summer. Although the plums may be eaten raw, they are somewhat tart and acidic, and are perhaps best used in preserves and jellies.
Zones:
5-9
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
The Chickasaw plum grows best in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It is important to promptly remove root suckers to prevent any unwanted spread. This plant is adaptable to wide range of growing conditions and soils.
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Rounded clump; colonies; dense
Exposure:
Full Sun
Width:
4-20 ft.
Growth Rate:
Rapid
Leaf:
The leaves of the Chickasaw plum are alternate, simple, toothed, narrow, oval-lanceolate, and bright green (1-3" long). The branches and twigs are an attractive reddish-brown and sometimes have thorny lateral branchlets.
Tags:
songbirds, showy, deciduous, native, edible, fragrant, full sun, moths, pollinators, wildlife plant, edible fruit, wildlife, butterflies, pollinator plant

NCCES plant id: 2126

Prunus angustifolia Prunus angustifolia
Jeff WRight, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Prunus angustifolia Prunus angustifolia
Mary Keim, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Prunus angustifolia Prunus angustifolia
Homer Edward Price, CC BY - 4.0
Prunus angustifolia Prunus angustifolia
Mary Keim, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Prunus angustifolia Prunus angustifolia
Homer Edward Price, CC BY - 4.0