Prunus angustifolia Marshall
Chickasaw plum, Sandhill plum
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
USDA Symbol: PRAN3
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Pome
Size Notes: Normally around 12 feet tall
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flowers 8-9 mm wide
Fruit: Red up to 25 mm long
Size Class: 12-36 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CA , CO , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NM , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
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 ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse 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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Hardwood Cuttings , Root Cuttings , Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Prunus species may be rooted from dormant hardwood, softwood, semi-hardwood, or root cuttings. Semi-hardwood and softwood cuttings taken in summer root easiest. Germination of most seeds requires cold stratification.
Seed Collection: Collect fruit when it is filled out, firm, and its ripe color. Clean seeds from pulp and briefly air dry. (Seeds to be sown immediately in fall do not need drying.) Storage viability is maintained at 31-41 degrees.
Seed Treatment: For spring sowing, stratify seeds in moist sand for 30-60 days in a greenhouse, then cold stratify (36-41 degrees) for 60-90 days. Plant well before high temperatures.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Prunus angustifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Prunus angustifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Prunus angustifolia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-03-14
Research By: TWC Staff