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Prunus maritima - Beach Plum

Prunus maritima - Beach Plum


Beach plums flank the pathway at the west garden entrance.

Where to find it: places near the coast (like the Eastern Shore) with gravely or sandy soils that are well-drained

Common name: Beach Plum Tree

Scientific name: Prunus maritima

Plant family: Rosaceae (rose family)

Primary uses:

  • Edible Parts: The fruit produced-raw or cooked. The seeds-raw or cooked
  • Documented Medicinal Uses: compound made from amygdalin and prunasin broken down in water could be used to stimulate respiration, improve digestion, and promote a sense of well-being (in small quantities)
  • Etymology: From French “maritime” meaning “of the sea”

 Hazards: produces hydrogen cyanide (found in leaves and seeds). This can be toxic if consumed in large quantities

Designing with this plant:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-7
  • Forest Garden Layer: shrub, prefers airy soil that is well-drained and near a coast

Fun Facts:

  • Tends to flower in May
  • A green pigment can be taken from the leaves, a dark green/gray pigments can be taken from the fruits—natural dyes.
  • Can be propagated by softwood cuttings


Plants For a Future: “Prunus maritima-Marshall“ 

Plant Database: Prunus maritima

Online Etymology Dictionary