Italian Prune Plum

Availability: Late season

General Information: The Italian prune plum is the most familiar type of European plum. As this plum ripens, its color changes from a reddish blue to a purple-blue with a powder white bloom when fully ripe. This hardy plum is good for cooking, preserving and baking.

History: The origin of the domestic European plum is thought to be from natural crosses of two wild species, the sloe plum, Prunus spinosa, and the cherry plum, Prunus cerasifera. These are usually, but certainly not always, yellow fleshed blue skinned plums, that are often naturally 'drier' than the Japanese plums, and with a more delicate and refined flavor. European Plums have been in North America for almost as long as there have been Europeans in North America. Spanish missionaries brought them to the west coast, & English colonists brought them to New England. Although there are native plums that also produce edible fruits, nothing compares to the extravagant tastiness & size of the European plum. Perhaps due to discarded pits, the European Plum has naturalized in many temperate areas of the continent, including in the Pacific Northwest & in New England.

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