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Prunus maritima Marshall
USDA Symbol: PRMA2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Beach plum is a rounded, dense, suckering shrub growing 6 ft. tall or more. White, single or double flowers occur in small clusters before the dark-green, glossy leaves. Fruits are dull purple to crimson, ripening from Aug. to Oct.
The Beach Plum is a member of the rose family (family Rosaceae) which includes about 2000 species of trees, shrubs, and herbs worldwide; approximately 77 native and 9 naturalized tree species and many species of shrubs and herbs in North America; including service-berries (Amelanchier), hawthorns (Crataegus), apples (Malus), plums and cherries (Prunus), and mountain-ashes (Sorbus).
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Blue-purple Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
, RI Canada: NB Native Distribution:
N.B. to NJ,
occasionally extending some distance inland Native Habitat:
Dunes, sandy soil near the coast
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Sandy or gravelly soils.
Conditions Comments: Salt tolerant.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Birds and other wildlife eat the fruit.
Warning: The partially wilted foliage contains hydrocyanic acid, which has been known to kill livestock that have browsed upon it. The seeds of all Prunus species, found inside the fruits, contain poisonous substances and should never be eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
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. Some species need a period of after Seed Collection:
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:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff