Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia)

Chickasaw Plum
Unripe Chickasaw Plum

I happened to find this tree while checking to see if any of the wild blackberries in the area were still viable. There were some almost ripe fallen fruit that had split from all the rain. I picked one up, smelled it, and rushed home to consult my favorite foraging enthusiast on whether wild plums are safe to eat.

While I was waiting for a reply I came across this really great resource online called Foraging Texas. Here is what that gentleman says about Chickasaw Plums:

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.

I had to wait a while for one to ripen. I think it is probably a favorite food for the local birds, and perhaps at least one other human. I had to crawl through some unpleasant brush and fire ant hills to get to this tiny misshapen fruit.

Ripe Chickasaw Plum
Ripe Chickasaw Plum

I had my camera bag with me and made sure there was a pocket in which I could safely store the tiny plum until I got home. On my initial discovery of the tree I learned that putting tiny plums into the pocket of your raincoat will only result in needing to do some laundry. At least I gave off a lovely bouquet of plum while I was out.

Cut Chickasaw Plum
Flesh and Pit of the Chickasaw Plum

Here is a look at the inside of the tiny fruit. It was sweet, refreshing, and had great flavor. I gave half of it to my mother. Her reaction? She saved the pit to grow her own tree.

I really want to find more of these trees. I would love to make wild plum jelly but there is just not enough fruit to go around from that one location, and it would be irresponsible to not leave any for the animals.

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