Howling Woods Farm

Beach plum

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Prunus maritima

Beach plum is a flowering multi-stemmed shrub which typically grows in a low spreading manner to form dense thickets, 3-8 foot tall. A United States’ native found along the Atlantic Coast it is tolerant of coastal salt spray and saline soils. Clusters of small white flowers bloom in spring (April-May), followed by small, purplish-blue fruit that ripens in late summer.  The white of the flowers develops a pinkish hue upon successful pollination usually achieved through the service of wild bees, but other pollinating insects may perform the task.  The deciduous (sheds their leaves) shrub has egg-shaped leaves. The simple, dark green glossy leaves are velvety or hairy on the underside at maturity.   Their attractive fall foliage extends seasonal color.  The fruit is popular for jams, jellies, and pies.