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Zones 3-9, 12-22, 31-34, 39
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Prunus mume

Japanese Flowering Apricot, Japanese Flowering Plum
Rosaceae
Deciduous, Trees, Flowers

PRUNUS

Discussed here are ornamental members of the genus Prunus. Fruit trees belonging to this genus—collectively known as stone fruits—are described under their common names. See Almond; Apricot; Cherry; Peach and Nectarine; Plum (includes Prune); and Plum Hybrids.

Ornamental species and forms can be divided into two categories: evergreen and deciduous. Evergreen types are used chiefly as hedges, screens, shade trees, and street trees. Deciduous flowering trees and shrubs, closely related to the fruit trees mentioned above, are valued for their winter or spring floral display as well as for attractive shape and for foliage form, texture, and sometimes even fall color. Many of these deciduous kinds offer a bonus of edible fruit.

Prunus mume

From China and southwest Japan, Japanese flowering plum grows into a gnarled, picturesque tree to 20 ft. tall and wide. And while flowers may be damaged by frost in the coldest areas, extremely early bloom is the tree’s most endearing feature. White to dark red, 1–1 1/2-in. blossoms with a clean, spicy fragrance form on leafless branches from midwinter to early spring. Yellow to green, 1-in. fruit is edible only if pickled. Leaves, to 4 1/2 in. long, are broadly oval, pointed. This tree is also an effective bonsai subject.

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