Prunus domestica L. - Garden plum.


Family Rosaceae Juss, genus Prunus L.

Morphology and biology.

2n=48. Tree 6-15 m height, with wide- or narrow-ovate crown shape; on the north - multi-stem shrub 3-4 m height. Young shoots are naked or felted pubescent, red-brown or greenish-yellow, angular; old branches and stems with dark-brown-grey crack cortex. Leaves are elliptic or obovate, 4-10 cm length and 2.5-5 cm width, with crenate-serrate edge; upper leaf surface is naked and dark-green, lower leaf surface is pubescent and light-coloured or grayish-green; light-yellow in autumn. Flower is criterion of sorts characteristic. Flowers up to 2.5 cm diameter, by 2 (rarely by 1-5) in bunches. Petals are white (sometimes with greenish tint). Fruits are drupes, from small (6-10 g) to large (50-70 g), length 2-7 cm, width 2-4 cm, various form - from flat-rounded to prolonged-ellipsoid, with lateral furrow, violet, yellow, pale-green, green, red, often with blue-grey wax bloom. Pulp of fruits more often yellow or greenish, enough compact, juicy, sweet-sour.

Distribution and origin.

Does not found in wild state. Presumably origin by means of natural hybridization cherry-plum with blackthorn in Caucasus, where it was introduced in culture. In the former USSR it is cultivated to south from line: Priozersk of Leningrad region - Vologda - Chuhloma - Kirov - Upha; general plantations are in south Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Caucasus. Cultivated in Middle Asia, south Siberia and on the Far East also.


Photophilous plant. Sorts differ by frost-resistance. The most undemanding sorts bear frosts till -55°C, therefore they can be cultivated everything, where fruit growing is possible. Vegetation begins when average daily temperature is +6-8°C. Shoots start growth after flowering beginning. P. domestica has superficial road system and prefers fertile soils with rather shallow level of subsoil waters. Better grows on wet, loamy, good drain, heat and rich nutritious substances soils. Bad grows on heavy clayey, strong damp and cold soils, often suffers from frosts and bear fruits worse. Does not bear drought. Negative influence of near standing subsoil waters. Preferable to cultivate on small (5-8°) slopes south, south-west and south-east direction. Swampy-peat soils, friable sands and saline soils without preliminary culture practical unfitted for cultivation. The cold, rainy weather, wind are unfavourable for pollination and fertilization (for flowering buds -1.5°C is destructive; young ovary perish by temperature -1°C). Most of the sorts are cross-pollination.

Economic value and agrotechnics.

There are about 1500 sorts, but in the culture and selection less 300 ones. Fruits yield to only vine and cherry by calorie content. Berries contain up to 21% sugars, up to 3% acids, about 1% tannins, about 1% pectin, up to 22 mg/100 g vitamin C, vitamins A, P. Fruits used in food in fresh state, in compotes, marinades, as preserve, jams, wine. Wood used for petty articles. Ornamental plant. Melliferous plant. Stock for peach, apricot, almond. One of the leading stone fruit in Moldova (more than 8 million trees), Ukraine (more than 40 million trees), Belarus (more 5.5 million trees), in countries of Transcaucasia (more than 6.5 million trees, 1/2 - in Georgia) and on the south of European part of Russia. P. domestica is second-best among stone cultures in Russia. In the former USSR occupies about 272 thousand hectares. Average productivity 15-25 ton per hectare (35-50 (100) ton per hectare in good years). The best sorts are Evrazia 21, Renklod Kolhoznyi, Anna Shpet, Victoria, Vengerka Kubanskaja, Venderka Moskovskaja, Volzhskaja Krasavitsa, Kabardinskaja Rannaja, Skorospelka krasnaja etc.
There are 2 means of plum reproduction - vegetative (by root verdure, inoculation, green grafts) and sexual (by seeds). Better means of reproduction is inoculation on the hardy stocks. Seedlings of cherry-plum, thorn-plum and some cultural sorts of plum used as stocks. Better planted in spring (before awakening of buds). Periodic shorten and thin out of branches are necessary. The root verdure used also for reproduction which procurement with the best style trees. Seeds sow in end of April - beginning May subject to weather. Distance between lines 25 cm, between ribbons 40 cm. Average lifetime 20-50 years (15-20 years on the north). Abundant yield till 20-30 years. Bear fruits beginning from 2-8 years old.


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