This seed comes from a dwarf strain of beach plum found by selecting five plants from over 4,000 seedlings that fruited in one year from seed. Those original five plants eventually provided enough seed to create the 'nana' strain by making several plantings of it throughout my farm. and using several generations to stabilize this trait too. It is relatively true from seed. The characteristics are compact growth with multiple spurs and small branches laden with fruit. Compared to the other beach plums we grow, Nana’s fruit production is much greater with spur type fruiting on a lateral bearing plant. After 20 years plant height averages from four to five feet tall. Will cross pollinate with other beach plums as well for better fruit set. Nana is longer lived than other beach plums in that the main trunk does not break down after 15 years of fruiting. This may not seem like much but is a huge advantage in the plants will live nearly twice the age of more 'normal' beach plums. Plants tend to grow more upright with a strong central trunk making for pruning and picking easier too.
The following varieties will be available as scionwood for grafting. For each order of seed, one variety can be requested with the seed of the Nana Beach Plum. I would recommend Black Pearl due to its yields and good quality fruit.
"Black Pearl" Heavy producing compact plant with dense spur type fruiting. Small dark blue-violet to black fruit. Easy to pick plant with short limbs to 4 to 5 ft. tall that arch over. Fruits produce in dense clusters.
"Blue Pearl" Columnar to broad branching dense plant with dense blue fruits produced in clusters. Plants are dwarf reaching 3-5 ft. tall. Very good production of delicious fruit. Pits pop clean out very easy. This selection has both good yield and good sized fruit. Seedlings of it produce very good lateral bearing dwarf plants.
"Multiverse" A small dark blue to black fruited variety with small fruit produced in dense clusters. Fruit has a lightly astringent skin than other varieties but fine for general processing. The yield per plant is very high with fruits that hang down in clusters. Reliable fruiting found in this universe of beach plums. Appears to spread lightly by runners and breed true from seed. Would be a good wildlife fruit as well. Ripens late in mid September compared to others. This would be a good wildlife selection as the fruits are produced in huge amounts and the seeds are consumed by many small mammals as well.
To germinate the seeds plant outside in the fall 1/2 to 1 inch deep in a weed free sandy soil. Seeds will emerge slowly late in the spring. A portion of the seeds may need an additional season to fully germinate but normally a 70 percent success rate is normal for the Nana beach plum strain for the first year. Never freeze woody plant seeds in your freezer. That is not dormancy. Cold plus moisture is dormancy.
For germinating the seeds in the fridge: Take the seeds and put into a zip lock bag filled with lightly moist Canadian peat moss. Refrigerate 34-38 F for 60-120 days. Seeds will begin cracking open while in the fridge after 60-90 days. These can be plucked out and planted in pots in a light soil mix. Plant 1/4 inch deep. Tops will emerge in 7-10 days.
|Genus & Species||Prunus maritima|
|Height (ft)||3-6 with equal spread- Spacing 5 to 10 feet apart with 15 ft. rows or more. Good air flow is ideal for even ripening.|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile to some degree but benefits from more than two individuals or other beach plums or hybrids of beach plums where there is overlap in flowering. I have seen lone beach plum plants loaded with fruit.|
|Soil||Does well in sandy soil as well as prairie type rich soils. Slightly acidic is good.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Once established this form of beach plum is easy to produce from seed to create further varieties. The quick turn around for precocity is an added benefit. A portion of the population does flower at one year from seed and an even greater number in the second year. The branching is also denser making it ideal for the home garden as well with few leggy plants that flop over with heavy yields. Nana is the equivalent of a spur type apple tree with higher yield per unit of vegetation. But further refinement could be done to increase the fruit size. Although beneficial, the skin on the fruit is really the bonus of the beach plum and it would not be an advantage to develop a bland beach plum. To me the beach plum is an ideal fruit plant.|