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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - July 29, 2011

From: Amarillo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Trees
Title: Jelly made from local plums from Amarillo TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

On Wednesday, August 5, 2009 you answered a question on native plants in the Austin area in which you wrote:"Two kinds of local plums have also been used to make jellies: Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana) and River Plum (Prunus rivularis). Both have somewhat tart summer fruit, both grow wild in and around Austin, and Mexican Plum is also a popular landscape tree, so it should be available at local nurseries." Do you know where I can purchase jars of jam or jelly made with these two Texas native plums?

ANSWER:

We believe the question you are referring to was on growing Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum) and Prunus rivularis (Creek plum), which was from Central Texas. Both of the trees mentioned in the answer are from Central Texas, where those trees grow natively. Neither of them grow natively in Potter County, in the Texas Panhandle. In order to make jellies for commercial use, there would need to be large orchards available that produced a lot of fruit. Anyone who has ever tried to make jelly from wild plums or wild grapes will tell you it is a whole lot more trouble than it is worth, and Mr. Smarty Plants speaks from experience here. Your best chance of locating jams or jellies would be at a farmer's market where produce is sold. Since the trees mentioned do not grow natively anywhere close to Potter County, and we know of no commercial orchards for them (although certainly there may be some) it seems unlikely you are going to find such a product for sale, particularly in your area.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

River plum
Prunus rivularis

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