Prunus maritima

Beach Plum




  • native to Northeastern United States and New Brunswick
  • hardy in zone 3

Habit and Form

  • a medium deciduous shrub
  • a rounded, densely branched shrub
  • grows to 6' tall
  • plant tends to sucker
  • medium texture
  • fast growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • simple, deciduous leaves
  • leaves are elliptical in shape
  • 2" to 3" long
  • leaves have a serrated leaf margin
  • dull green leaf color
  • petiole is pubescent with glands near the leaf base

Autumn Foliage

  • somewhat showy


  • white flowers
  • flowers borne singly
  • flowers are 0.5" in diameter
  • flowers in May


  • fruits are dull purple color
  • 1" in diameter
  • ripen in august
  • edible


  • reddish brown bark
  • horizontal lenticels


  • full sun
  • easily transplanted from bare root, B&B, or containers
  • soil adaptable
  • prefers a well-drained soil
  • prune after flowering in spring
  • salt tolerant

Landscape Use

  • specimen
  • patio plant
  • small groupings
  • for flowering effect
  • for edible fruit
  • foundation plant


  • short-lived
  • many insect and disease problems

ID Features

  • a deciduous shrub
  • up to 6' tall
  • suckers
  • simple, serrated leaves
  • glands on petiole near leaf base
  • white flowers in spring
  • dull purple edible fruits


  • by softwood cuttings


var. flava - This naturally-occuring plant bears yellow fruit and is found on Cape Cod.

'Eastham', 'Hancock' and 'Squibnocket' - These cultivars have been selected for exceptional fruit qualities, which are often used for jams and jellies. They are not widely-available in commerce.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.