Branch with Leaves and Fruit
This is the tastiest plum species on Earth. Enjoy the ripe fruit raw, straight off the bush, or cook the plums with a sweetener and thickener, strain out the seeds, and use in virtually any dessert.
Beach plums are large shrubs that grow in thickets near the seashore from Maine to Delaware. They bloom in early spring.
The showy, radially symmetrical, white petals bloom as the oval, pointed, finely toothed leaves are developing.
The clusters of white flowers create a showy display for insect and human eyes.
Note the flowers' protruding stamens, and the shrub's reddish-brown bark.
The yellow-brown anther at the tip of each stamen produces pollen, which insects transfer to the single, yellow pistil (female organ) protruding from the center of the flower.
Spherical, grape-sized, short-stalked fruit cluster on slender twigs, ripening in late summer and early fall.
In a good year, the fruit can be quite abundant, sometimes even weighing down the branches.
Unripe fruit is red, hard, and bitter.
Note the branches' reddish-brown, somewhat warty bark.
Ripe fruit is sky-blue. Avoid overripe, deformed plums.
Note the whitish, powdery coating, called a bloom, on each plum. Typical of plum, this protects the fruit from drying out.
Note the ripe fruit's perfectly spherical shape, the short fruit stalk, and the scratches on the powdery bloom.
Beach Plum Recipes