En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - May 19, 2013

From: McKinney, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Problems with fruit of Mexican Plum from McKinney TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

MY Mexican plum tree (about 5 years old) has small fruit on it. Some of them are severely deformed, and look rotten almost. They are bumpy and ragged looking. Or they are pasty white,rotten and dried in appearance. This is the case for more of the fruit than not. What could it be?

ANSWER:

We are very puzzled by your description of the fruit on your Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum); according to this article on the plant from Texas A&M Aggie Horticulture it should not even have fruit on it yet:
"Fruit: The yellow-red to red-purple plums have a noticeable waxy bloom and ripen in summer to early fall; these ¾ in. to 1¼ in. long drupes have a fleshy pulp over   a hard seed; fleshy portions of the fruits are edible and are popular for use in preserves, jams, jellies; fruits are also valued as wildlife food."
Perhaps you are referring to something that occurred last Fall, but if this is last Fall's fruit still on the plant, the fruit has simply dried up and died. Since it is good wildlife food, we are surprised nothing found it and ate it.
Beyond that, about all we can tell you is that this plant is a member of the Rosaceae family, and could be susceptible to some of the same problems as garden roses. We will scratch around and see if we can find out what might be going on.
According to this USDA Plant Profile Map it does grow naturally in Collin County, so your soils should be appropriate. The only thing that we did note is that sometimes members of the Rosaceae family can be subject to Cotton Root Rot, which is a soil-borne disease. We would suggest you contact the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office for Collin County to find out if there have been similar problems in your area.
 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Pecan tree dropping dead leaves
August 02, 2014 - I have a very old, tall pecan tree in my yard that has been dropping dead leaves for the last three weeks. My back yard looks like it is the Fall season. Do you have any insight on this?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of oak wilt in red oak in Austin
December 25, 2010 - I planted a Red oak tree in Austin January 2008. It was container grown but decent size, over 15ft tall. This summer (2010) its leaves turned color as if it were fall and started dropping. I starte...
view the full question and answer

Growth on top of Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)
July 03, 2012 - I grow purple coneflowers in my garden. ONE plant has something growing on the top of each cone. I would like to know what it is but I don't see how I can add a photo to this post.
view the full question and answer

Chlorotic disease in scrub oak from Katy TX
July 04, 2013 - Please tell me how to treat my scrub oak as it has chlorotic disease. Parts of the tree are fine and others have yellow leaves. It has not been injured in any way.
view the full question and answer

Unknown ailment of Turk's cap in northeast Texas
July 01, 2013 - I just moved from the Dallas area to Emory in the north east part. I brought two young Turk's cap plants in pots. I had to leave the mother plant behind. The tops have a very curled and shrunken a...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center