A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Prunus maritima Marsh.

Sand Plum, Beach Plum

Modern name

Prunus maritima Marshall

A deciduous shrub of low, compact habit 4 to 8 ft high and more in diameter, with grey, downy young branchlets, becoming dark with age. Leaves oval or obovate, 112 to 3 in. long, 34 to 114 in. wide, saw-toothed, covered beneath when young with down, which becomes reduced to the midrib and veins towards the end of the season; leaf-stalk 13 in. long, downy. Flowers white, 12 in. across, produced in May usually in pairs or in threes at each bud on last year’s shoots; on the short side spurs the flowers appear to be in clusters, owing to the crowded buds; flower-stalks 13 in. long, downy. Calyx downy, funnel-shaped, with five rounded, oblong lobes. Fruits red or purple, round or oblong, 12 to 1 in. in diameter. A yellow-fruited variety is also cultivated. Bot. Mag., t. 8289.

Native of the eastern United States, frequently inhabiting sandy or gravelly places near the coast. Its fruits are gathered for preserving there, but they appear to vary in quality and sweetness. The flowers are borne profusely in this country, and the species is one of the most attractive of dwarf plums. Judging by its hardy, robust constitution, and by its natural habitats, it ought to succeed in exposed maritime localities in Britain.

Some orchard varieties of this species are cultivated in the USA.



Other species in the genus