13 April 2015

Wild Plum - Prunus angustifolia, Purnus Americana, Wild Plum - Spring flowering shrubs and trees

Native plum tree bark
As I walk around our yard in the morning with camera in hand, I see many lovely little and mid-size plants that I can no longer exactly identify. Did the birds plant that or did we?

I thought these were little native plum trees, Prunus Americana, that we planted along the south fence-line to soften the view of our neighbor's gigantic metal building with a pile of tires so high we can see it from the hammocks in the summer.

However, now I'm pretty sure they are our native Sand Plums, Prunus angustifolia instead. 

Here's a handy link from the Washington Native Plant Society with photos of dozens of spring flowering trees and shrubs to help you identify what the birds planted in your beds and fence-line!

My dream is that in a couple of years the native plums will at least block the tire pile though they will always remain too short to block the building and yet small enough to not grow into the power lines along the property line.

One of our other purposes in planting them was to feed and shelter wildlife. We purchased the minimum of 50-tiny tree/shrubs in a bundle from this site.and took advantage of their delivery truck stopping in Muskogee last year (free delivery). We planted 10 or 15 and gave away the rest to my yoga students to plant in their yards.

Prunus angustifolia flowers
I love the little five-petaled white flowers they display in the spring and am even so bold as to hope to get enough little plums to make a batch of wild plum jam.

They are shrubby and can form thickets though the ones we have on the other side of the yard by the swale have never really moved or multiplied. I suspect it's because they are in too much shade.

Oklahoma State University has a Fact Sheet at this link that will explain all the many names, varieties, planting and harvesting tips.







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