The Japanese Apricot Ume-Salt Plums
Popular landscape plant in the southern and western U.S. known for its fragrant white, pink or red flowers. Our seedling trees have done well here in Michigan growing 2-3 ft. per year and is well adapted to our sandy soils. The culture of this plant is similar to apricots. In Japan, it is grown for the fruit that is pickled in salt to make umeboshi-popular in macrobiotic diets. Chinese plum sauce is also made with this species. Easy to prune to make a single trunk that forms a round headed tree to 20 ft. tall. Flower color can be white or pink and like apricots blossoms really early in spring. Listed in most horticultural books as Zone 5-6 hardiness. Probably as hardy as most peach varieties to -20 F or slightly less. For us this is one little tough apricot and grows with reckless abandon which partly explains the ornamental selections found used in warmer zones. Very difficult for us to grow from seed as the pit is like a bowling ball with a kernal inside. Our three year old container plants will flower once the trees begin producing fruiting branches when they reach 5-6 ft. tall.
Plant SpecsGenus & Species:
Prunus mumeSeed Source:
-15 FHeight (ft):
Self fertile but like apricots, two may prove more fruitful.Soil:
Likes sandy or sandy loam soil with good water drainage.Climate:
Zone 5ish-zone 9. Does well in southern climates.Ease of Cultivation:
Easy to grow tree but have not fruited it in quantity to know its practicality. Incredibly durable tree though with spur type fruiting habit.