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Prunus gracilis (Oklahoma plum)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Prunus gracilis

Prunus gracilis Engelm. & A. Gray

Oklahoma Plum

Rosaceae (Rose Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Oklahoma plum is a straggling, thicket-forming shrub that can reach 6 ft. in height, but may only be 1 1/2 ft. tall. Reddish-brown twigs bear velvety leaves. White, five-petaled flowers with numerous stamens bloom in clusters of two to four. The blossoms are followed by a red, slighty bloomy, plum, ripening from June to August.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Commonly no more than 2 feet tall, but can grow to 6 feet.
Flower: Flowers 1/2 inch
Fruit: Red 15 mm

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Blooms on bare branches before the leaves appear, at about the same time Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) blooms.


USA: AR , KS , LA , OK , TX
Native Distribution: OK, KS, AR, LA, e. TX & TX Panhandle
Native Habitat: Fence rows, open woodlands, woodlands' edge, forest openings, hillsides, slopes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Well-drained woodland sands.
Conditions Comments: Best in part-shade. Needs room to expand and wander. Should be watered during droughts to prevent black knot disease. Like many members of the rose family, can get webworms.


Use Ornamental: Showy, aromatic, low-growing, colonizing woodland shrub.
Use Wildlife: Birds and mammals eat the fruit. Butterflies, bees, and other insect pollinators utilize the flowers.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation 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
Maintenance: Water during droughts to prevent black knot disease.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


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 resources

USDA: Find Prunus gracilis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Prunus gracilis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Prunus gracilis


Record Modified: 2008-04-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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