Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beach plums

Prunus maritima. An American Atlantic seashore indigene that loves full sun and is tough, good for rooftops (look at Lambert's)...

Skip a park or street corner or garden for a week or two, and you have missed a whole chapter of spring. Luckily this is the beach plum chapter and I counted five these pretty shrubs in The Noisiest Park in the World (not on maps, but otherwise the DUMBO section of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges). In New York nearly twelve years (!), and I have never noticed them in bloom. I photographed them last year in Jamaica Bay. They are frothy, lovely things with an attractive scent, and this year I hope to taste an actual beach plum.


  1. They are fickle. Some plants you can snack straight off, others taste a little tart or sour, might be better for jams. I'm not much of a forager, but I usually stop to snack on them when they're ripe in summer. I'm sure you could whip up something good with them. I think that if you put them on a rooftop and want fruit, you'd need more than one, like some other fruit trees/bushes, they are mostly self-sterile. The one growing at Brooklyn Botanic Native Flora does not set fruit, but ones growing amongst others down by the shore do.

  2. Well, I had no idea, in January, what those weedy, scrawny twigs would turn into!

  3. I have one currently in bloom on my rooftop in Brooklyn.
    It is true that you need more than one, and preferably two different clones for an optimum fruit yield.


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