Many of the trees that we have in our garden here at Ravenscourt are from rip-outs we have done for clients. We actually do try and save any plant we think we can find a home for! Many go home with our crew for their gardens.
Ever since I did a design for a garden around an old Mexican Plum tree, Prunus mexicana, I have wanted one in our garden. A couple of years ago my husband rescued a tiny one and brought it home. And here it is 4 years later.
I think it is the way they grow so gnarly and then have stunning fragrant flowers on their bare branches in early spring that attracts me to them. Then they way they leaf out with lovely long green leaves and look like an entirely different tree. I love the beautiful colors in the small round plums that ripen in the autumn with shades of yellows, rose and purple. I love contrast!
According to the USDA the Mexican Plum has native status and are also known as a common Wild plum or Big Tree plum. They are used as stock for grafting cultivated varieties of plums. You can find them growing wild in the forest-prairie border from Missouri and eastern Kansas to Texas. The fruit can be eaten fresh but is better made into preserves. Normally height is between 15 and 20 feet tall. This manageable in a small back garden, just like the garden where I first noticed an old one years ago now. They grow in most any soil and need very little care. Ours weathered the drought just fine. This year with more rain it is full of lovely pinkish white flowers.
Because I didn’t know much about this tree that I wanted to keep and design around I did some reading on the internet. I was excited to learn that whether they are in the wild or in your garden they will attract butterflies and are a great habitat for wildlife. The pollen and nectar of its flowers feed several beneficial insect including butterflies and bees. Swallowtail Butterflies lay their larva on the leaves. Birds and other wildlife eats the plums in the autumn. I am so very proud to have this little work horse of a tree in our garden…giving back in every season!
For more information I have include to interesting links!