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Plum Fruit (With Pictures)- Benefits of Plum Tree

Botanical Name: Prunus domestica

Family Name : Rosaceae

Plum grows on a small tree, with twigs pubescent when young; flowers white, usually in clusters; fruits firm in texture, varying in colour from green and golden yellow to red and dark purple; stones large, rough or pitted.

Of all the stone fruits, plums are the most varied and include a large range of types varying in plant habit, leaf size and form, flowering habit and fruit characteristic quality.

The plum tree grows 5 to 7m. high, has greenish-white flowers, is pollinated by bees and loses its leaves in autumn. Plums are popular for cooking, jam making and bottling or canning, but the sweeter varieties are among our most delicious dessert fruits.

Origin and Distribution

Plums are native in China, America, Europe and the Kaukasus. Greek writers mention cultivated plum races being imported to Greece from Syria. The Romans introduced the fruit in Northern Europe.

Today, the Japanese plum is grown in California entirely for fresh shipping.  The industry has grown throughout the state, but it is now concentrated in the central San Joaquin Valley.  In fact, most Japanese plums grown in the United States are grown in California.


The combined fresh peach, plum, and nectarine industries are grown on about 90,000 acres in California and with a total average annual income of over $300 million comprise a major segment of the state's total agricultural economy.  Over 400 varieties are grown commercially and between 40 and 50 million packages are marketed each year throughout the United States and Canada with some also exported to other parts of the world.

Properties of plum

Laxative, refrigerant, antileucorrhoeic, tonic.

Forms of Use :- Fruit is eaten as such.

Food Value of plum

Plum contains appreciable amounts of sugars and beta-carotene (Vitamin A). Analysis of the edible portion (90-93%) of the fruit of the red plums gave the following composition (per 100 gms):

Moisture 86.3%
Protein 0.7%
Fibre 0.4%
Carbohydrate 11.7%
Phosphorus 20 mg
Fat 0.4%
Calcium 10 mg
Vitamin A 983 I.U.

The ripening of the plum is characterised by softening of the flesh, development of pigment, marked increase in sugars and relatively smaller decrease in acid content. The acid content is due to citric acid, although small amount of tartaric & malic acids have been found. Sugars present are glucose (3.0-6.2%), fructose (2.7-6.1%) and sucrose (0.7-4.8%). The aroma of plum blossoms mainly due to benzaldehyde.

Medicinal Uses & benefits

  1. It is demulcent, mildly laxative and refrigerant. It is often added to decoctions to improve their flavour and promote their effect.
  2. Plums are high in carbohydrates, low in fat and low in calories. Plums are an excellent source of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and fiber. Plums are free of sodium and cholesterol. Like all fruit plums contain a substantial amount of vitamin C.
  3. Its juice is very cooling and is given in fever etc.
  4. It also contains several antioxidants that may slow aging.

Other uses

Plum fruit is sweet, juicy and edible, and it can be eaten fresh or used in jam -making or other recipes. Plum juice can be fermented into plum wine ; when distilled, this produces a brandy known in Eastern Europe as Slivovitz . Dried plums are known as prunes . Prunes are sweet and juicy, and they have a very high dietary fiber content, so prune juice is often used to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system .

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