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American Plum


Latin Name: Prunus americana


Family: Rosaceae

Native Range: Native to southern Canada from Saskatchewan in the west to Quebec 

Seed Source: Natural stand near Estevan, Saskatchewan.

Height and Spread: 5m x 3m (5 years)

Overview: This American plum seed strain is adapted to cold temperate dry climates. A pioneer plant quickly colonizing sites this seed strain produces bright red edible plums. Wild plum is a shrub or small tree 3-8 m tall, and usually found growing as dense thickets.

Fruits: Reddish-purple oval plums 2.0-2.5 cm long containing one seed.

Average number of seeds per packet - 50 


Stratification: Pre-soak seed for 24 hours then stratify in moist sand (10 percent moisture) for 180 days at 5°C.

Ideal sowing time: Non-pretreated seed outdoors in early September (will germinate the following spring) or stratified seed in spring.

Sowing instructions: Outdoors - sow 2.0 cm deep, 50 seeds/meter; Greenhouse - sow 3 seeds per cell.

Growing conditions: American plum grows well on a wide range of soils. As a colonizer, it will flourish on most disturbed sites. It prefers full sunlight and is considered somewhat drought tolerant.


Ammerican plums make good wildlife habitat and are effective in erosion control because their roots hold the soil. Their thorny branches catch tumbleweeds, leaves, and other plant materials, which, when windstorms occur during times of drought, provide an effective means of slowing wind erosion of soil.