Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Prunus mexicana


Mexican plum, Bigtree plum


Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)
Marcus, Joseph A.
Bigtree or Mexican plum is a single-trunked, non-suckering tree, 15-35 ft. tall, with fragrant, showy, white flowers displayed before the leaves appear. Mature trunks become satiny, blue-gray with darker, horizontal striations. Leaves up to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide, ovate to narrower with serrate margins; minute glands on the petiole near the base of the blade. Plums turn from yellow to mauve to purple as they ripen from July through September.

The common wild plum of the forest-prairie border from Missouri and eastern Kansas to Texas. The fruit is eaten fresh and made into preserves and is also consumed by birds and mammals. This species has served as a stock for grafting cultivated varieties of plums.

Image Gallery:

101 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: 15-35
Fruit:
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , MS , MO , NE , NC , OH , OK , SC , SD , TN , TX , WI
Native Distribution: Extreme s. OH to s.e. SD, s. to SC, AL, TX & Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry to moist thin woods, river bottoms & prairies. mostly in northeast and north central Texas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry to moist, well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based
Conditions Comments: Bigtree or Mexican plum is a single-trunked, non-suckering tree with fragrant, showy, white flowers displayed before the leaves appear. Mature trunks become satiny, blue-gray with darker, horizontal striations. Plums turn from yellow to mauve to purple as they ripen from July through September.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Attractive, Aromatic, Showy, Fall conspicuous, Accent tree or shrub
Use Wildlife: Plums attract birds. Nectar-bees, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals
Use Food: Fruit used for preserves and cooking.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Tiger Swallowtail, Cecropia moths
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: No

Last Update: 2011-04-02