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

 Native Plant Database

Prunus angustifolia

Chickasaw plum, Sandhill plum

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw plum)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
A twiggy, thicket-forming tree, 15-30 ft. tall, with fragrant white flowers in flat-topped clusters and yellow fruit ripening to red in August or September. Short, crooked trunk and flat-topped crown. Scaly, nearly black bark. Reddish branches are covered with thorn-like side branches. Pale-yellow fall foliage. Thicket-forming shrub or sometimes a small tree, with slender, spreading branches, small white flowers, and red plums.

Cultivated by the Chickasaw Indians and other indigenous peoples before the arrival of Europeans. This plum is eaten fresh and made into jellies and preserves. Improved varieties are grown in the Southeast.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Pome
Size Notes: Normally around 12 feet tall
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flowers 8-9 mm wide
Fruit: Red up to 25 mm long
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AL , AR , CA , CO , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MS , MO , NE , NJ , NM , NC , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV , DC
Native Distribution: NJ to IL, MO & s. NE, s. to FL & TX. Introduced elsewhere.
Native Habitat: Open woodlands, woodland edges, forest openings, savannahs, prairies, plains, meadows, pastures, fence rows, roadsides

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy, loose
Conditions Comments: In full sun, will be more dense and full and will colonize more thickly. In the part shade of woodlands, will be more airy, loose, and delicate in appearance and will colonize more loosely.


Use Ornamental: Attractive, aromatic thicket plum for landscape restorations and shelter belt plantings.
Use Wildlife: Birds and mammals eat the fruit. Various insects visit the flowers. Provides cover and nesting sites for wildlife.
Use Food: Ripe fruit can be eaten fresh and is made into jellies, desserts, and preserves.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes

Last Update: 2015-05-15