Plum - Chickasaw

Scientific Name(s): Prunus angustifolia
Abundance: common
What: fruit; pit
How: fruit raw, jelly/jam, or wine; pit ground and dried, then boiled
Where: sunny fields
When: early summer
Nutritional Value: calories, flavonoids
Dangers: none

Leaf Arrangement: The leaves are alternately arranged along the stems.

Leaf Shape: The leaves are lanceolate, being long and narrow with pointed tips.

Leaf Venation: Leaves exhibit pinnate venation, with prominent, straight veins extending from the midrib.

Leaf Margin: The leaf margin is serrated, featuring fine teeth along the edges.

Leaf Color: The upper side of the leaves is green, while the underside may have a paler hue.

Flower Structure: The flowers are simple, with a diameter of approximately 1 inch, featuring five white petals.

Flower Color: The flowers are predominantly white.

Fruit: The fruit is a drupe approximately 1" in diameter, initially green and turning yellow to red as it matures.

Seed: A single stone pit is contained within the drupe, typically small, oval, and brown in color.

Bark: The bark of young stems is smooth and purple-brown, becoming more textured with age. 1" thorns are found along branches.

Hairs: None present.

Height: Chickasaw Plum typically reaches a height of 12 to 20 feet.

Ripe and unripe Chickasaw Plums.


Ripe Chickasaw Plums.
Chikasaw Plum1

Chickasaw plum thicket.
Plum Chickasaw

Close-up of branch.
Plum Chickasaw

Close-up of Chickasaw plum thorn.
Plum Chickasaw

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
Chickasaw Plum USDA TX

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Forming thickets of large bushes/small trees across Texas, Chickasaw Plums are by far sweeter than Mexican Plums. They are covered with white flowers in the mid-to-late winter and the fruit is ready to pick by the beginning of June.

Small but very sweet, these plums can be eaten raw, made into preserves, or even fermented into wine. The pits contain a small amount of cyanide but Native Americans would grind the pits then allow them to sit for a few days. During this time naturally occurring enzymes would break down the cyanide. The ground pit material would then be boiled as a porridge or perhaps used as a seasoning.

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