Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Prunus domestica L. - Wild Plum - Rosaceae
Prunus domestica
© Graham Day
Prunus domestica
(Map updated: March 2008)

Included in this species are the cultivated plums, the damson, bullace and greengage, all grown in gardens or orchards for their edible fruits. Occasional examples are encountered in hedgerows or waste ground, and have probably grown from discarded fruit stones (apples are similarly found in the same kinds of situations). Other examples are found in abandoned fruit orchards, or they have been deliberately planted in hedges in certain areas: wild plum is a common hedgerow tree in hedges around apple orchards in Co Armagh.

Like most cultivated species, the wild plum is very variable, with three ill-defined subspecies and many varieties, but most "wild" trees can probably be referred to either the plum (Prunus domestica ssp. domestica) or damson (P. domestica ssp. insititia). Occasionally trees which seem to be the hybrid (P. x fruticans) between ssp. insititia and sloe (Prunus spinosa) can be found in Northern Ireland hedgerows.

All names: Prunus domestica L.; Prunus insititia L.; Prunus communis Huds.