Open the Advanced Search

Wild Plum

Prunus domestica

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
4.5 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, meadows, riverbanks, riversides, roadsides, scrub, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

White, 5 petals
The flowers of wild plum are characterized by their delicate petals in shades ranging from creamy white to soft pink. Each flower consists of five rounded petals, forming a cup-shaped bloom that emits a sweet fragrance, attracting various pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hoverflies. The blossoms typically emerge in early spring, adorning the branches before the foliage fully develops. These charming flowers contribute to the scenic beauty of the countryside, marking the arrival of the warmer seasons with their ephemeral yet captivating presence.
Wild plums encompass a mixture of plums such as Bullaces, Damsons and Greengages, and the large, egg-shaped fruit can be of a variety of colours such as purple, bluish-black, yellow, red and green. Bullaces and Damons usually produce purple-black fruit. Greengages usually produce green fruit. The fruit could be confused with sloes (the fruit of the Blackthorn) but is much smaller than those of Blackthorn. The fruit of Wild Plum normally ripens in October or November.
The leaves of the wild plum are typically ovate or elliptical in shape, with finely serrated margins. They exhibit a glossy, dark green hue on their upper surface, contrasting with a lighter green or sometimes greyish underside. Each leaf is supported by a slender petiole and arranged alternately along the branches. During autumn, the foliage undergoes a transformation, turning into vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red before eventually falling from the tree. The leaves provide dense coverage, creating a lush canopy that offers shade and shelter for wildlife while contributing to the aesthetic appeal of the countryside landscape.
The aroma of wild plum is delicate yet enchanting. As the blossoms burst into bloom in early spring, they release a sweet fragrance that fills the air with a subtle floral perfume. The scent is reminiscent of a gentle breeze carrying hints of honey and nectar, inviting pollinators such as bees and butterflies to partake in the blossoms' bounty. This evocative aroma is often described as fresh and uplifting, evoking a sense of rejuvenation and renewal as the landscape awakens from its winter slumber. Whether encountered in woodland clearings, hedgerows, or along riverbanks, the alluring fragrance of wild plum adds to the sensory tapestry of the countryside, creating a delightful olfactory experience for those who encounter it.
Other Names:
Common Plum, European Plum, Prune.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Prunus domestica, commonly known as European plum, is a deciduous tree from the rose family (Rosaceae). It is native to Europe and Asia and is cultivated for its fruit, which is used for making jams, jellies, syrups, and other preserves. The fruit is a small, round, red, purple or yellow drupe with a juicy flesh. The leaves are simple, oval or oblong, with serrated edges and are dark green in color. The flowers are small, white or pinkish, and produced in clusters before the leaves appear. The tree is adaptable to different soil types and it is also drought tolerant. It is also used as an ornamental plant in gardens due to its showy flowers. There are various cultivars of Prunus domestica with different characteristics and uses, such as Prunus domestica italica which is known for its dark purple or black fruit, or cultivars that are used for drying or canning.


The Wild Plum, scientifically known as Prunus domestica, is a fruit tree native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Rosaceae family, which includes other fruit-bearing trees like apples and cherries.

Wild Plum trees are deciduous and can grow up to 15 feet tall. They have a rounded shape with a dense canopy of green leaves that turn yellow in the fall. The tree blooms in early spring, producing fragrant white flowers that attract bees and other pollinators.

The fruit of the Wild Plum is a small, round, and purple or red-skinned drupe that is typically around 2-3 centimeters in diameter. The flesh of the plum is yellow and juicy, with a sweet and slightly tart flavor. The pit or stone inside the fruit is oval-shaped and contains a single seed.

Wild Plum trees are hardy and adaptable, able to grow in a range of soil types and climates. They are commonly found in hedgerows, woodlands, and other natural areas, where they provide food and shelter for a variety of wildlife, including birds and small mammals.

In addition to being a valuable food source for wildlife, Wild Plums are also enjoyed by humans. They are often used in the production of jams, jellies, and other preserves, as well as baked goods like pies and tarts.

Wild Plum trees are also valued for their ornamental qualities, with their delicate flowers and colorful fruit adding beauty to gardens and landscapes. They are easy to grow and require little maintenance, making them a popular choice for home gardeners.

Wild Plum trees have a long history of cultivation, dating back to ancient times in both Europe and Asia. They were brought to North America by European settlers, and today they can be found growing in many parts of the United States and Canada.

In addition to their culinary uses, Wild Plums also have medicinal properties. The fruit and bark of the tree have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a range of ailments, including digestive issues, coughs, and colds.

Wild Plum trees are also important in the conservation of biodiversity. They provide habitat and food for many different species of birds, mammals, and insects, helping to support the ecological balance of natural areas.

Unfortunately, Wild Plum trees, like many other fruit trees, are vulnerable to a range of pests and diseases. Common pests include aphids, plum curculio, and Japanese beetles, while diseases like brown rot and plum pox virus can cause significant damage to the tree and its fruit.

To prevent and manage these issues, it is important to practice good orchard management techniques, such as pruning, fertilization, and pest and disease control. Regular monitoring of the tree and its environment can also help to identify potential problems before they become severe.

Wild Plum trees are not only valued for their fruit and ornamental qualities but also for their wood. The wood of the Wild Plum tree is hard, dense, and durable, making it suitable for a range of applications, including tool handles, furniture, and flooring.

In addition, Wild Plum wood is prized by woodworkers for its unique and beautiful grain patterns, which range from straight to wavy and can feature a range of colors, including pink, purple, and brown.

Wild Plum wood is also valued for its resistance to decay and insect damage, making it a popular choice for outdoor applications, such as fence posts and decking.

Another interesting fact about Wild Plum trees is that they have been used as a symbol of fertility and prosperity in many cultures throughout history. In ancient Rome, the Wild Plum was associated with the goddess Venus and was used in fertility rituals.

In China, the Wild Plum is considered a symbol of resilience and endurance, as it is able to survive harsh winter conditions and still produce beautiful flowers and delicious fruit in the spring.

One interesting aspect of the Wild Plum tree is its role in the cultural traditions of Native American tribes. For many tribes, Wild Plums were an important food source, and they were often used in traditional ceremonies and rituals.

For example, the Cherokee tribe in the southeastern United States used Wild Plums as a symbol of renewal and purification, and they would often hold plum ceremonies to mark the beginning of the harvest season. During these ceremonies, members of the tribe would gather Wild Plums and other fruits, offer them to the spirits, and then share them with the community.

Similarly, the Lakota tribe in the Great Plains region of North America used Wild Plums in their sacred Sun Dance ceremony. During this ceremony, participants would fast and dance for several days, and at the end of the ceremony, they would be offered Wild Plums as a symbol of abundance and renewal.

Today, Wild Plum trees continue to be an important part of the cultural heritage of many Native American tribes, and they are often cultivated in traditional gardens and orchards as a way to preserve this important connection to the past.

In addition to their cultural significance, Wild Plum trees are also important for their role in sustainable agriculture. Because they are hardy and adaptable, they can be grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, making them a valuable addition to organic and sustainable farming systems.

Another interesting aspect of the Wild Plum is its role in the history of agriculture. In the early days of agriculture, Wild Plums were one of the first fruit trees to be domesticated and cultivated for food production.

Over time, farmers developed new varieties of Wild Plum trees, selecting for traits such as larger fruit size, sweeter flavor, and greater disease resistance. Today, there are many different cultivated varieties of Wild Plum, each with its own unique characteristics and uses.

Wild Plums are also an important source of nutrition. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and they have been shown to have a range of health benefits, including improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and promoting heart health.

In addition, Wild Plum juice and wine are popular beverages in many parts of the world, and Wild Plum jam, jelly, and other preserves are a common way to enjoy the fruit throughout the year.

One challenge with cultivating Wild Plum trees is their susceptibility to frost damage. Because they bloom early in the spring, they are often vulnerable to late-season frost, which can damage the flowers and reduce the fruit yield. To mitigate this risk, some farmers use techniques such as planting in sheltered locations or using protective covers to shield the trees from cold temperatures.

Overall, the Wild Plum is a fascinating and valuable tree with a rich history and many uses. Whether you are interested in food production, health and nutrition, or the history of agriculture, this tree is a fascinating subject of study and a rewarding addition to any garden or natural area.

Notable Facts about the Wild Plum

25 facts about Wild Plum (Prunus domestica):

  1. Wild Plum is a species of flowering plant in the Rosaceae family.
  2. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
  3. The tree can grow up to 8-10 meters in height.
  4. The fruit of the Wild Plum is a drupe, which is a type of fruit with a fleshy outer layer surrounding a hard inner seed.
  5. The fruit is typically oval or round and varies in color from yellow to purple-black.
  6. Wild Plum trees require full sun and well-drained soil to grow.
  7. They are often used in landscaping as ornamental trees because of their beautiful flowers and fruit.
  8. Wild Plum trees can live up to 50 years or more.
  9. The tree has a shallow root system and is vulnerable to wind damage.
  10. The fruit is high in vitamins C and K and fiber.
  11. Wild Plums have been cultivated for food production for thousands of years.
  12. They are used in a variety of culinary applications, including jams, jellies, and pies.
  13. Wild Plum trees are also valued for their wood, which is hard and durable.
  14. The wood is often used in tool handles, furniture, and flooring.
  15. Wild Plum trees are important for wildlife, providing food and shelter for birds and mammals.
  16. The tree is also a host plant for the caterpillar of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.
  17. Wild Plum trees have been used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, including diarrhea and fever.
  18. In ancient Rome, Wild Plums were associated with the goddess Venus and used in fertility rituals.
  19. In China, Wild Plums are a symbol of resilience and endurance.
  20. Native American tribes used Wild Plums in traditional ceremonies and rituals.
  21. Wild Plums are an important source of nutrition and have numerous health benefits.
  22. The tree is susceptible to frost damage, which can reduce fruit yield.
  23. Wild Plum trees are often grown in organic and sustainable farming systems.
  24. There are many cultivated varieties of Wild Plum, each with its own unique characteristics and uses.
  25. Wild Plums can be propagated through grafting or by seed.

The Wild Plum (Prunus domestica) is a fascinating and valuable tree with a rich history and many uses. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa and is often used in landscaping as an ornamental tree because of its beautiful flowers and fruit. Wild Plum trees have been cultivated for food production for thousands of years and are used in a variety of culinary applications, including jams, jellies, and pies. The tree is also valued for its wood, which is hard and durable, and is often used in tool handles, furniture, and flooring. Wild Plum trees are important for wildlife and are also used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments. Overall, the Wild Plum is a fascinating subject of study and a rewarding addition to any garden or natural area.


Wild Plums filmed in Coppull, Lancashire on the 19th July 2023.


Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map