Prunus mume - hardiness, disease?

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)August 8, 2014

I'm sure I've seen one of these here or there in person, but have never been aware of it.

Can anyone tell me about P. mume and it's many apparent cultivars?

Whitman Farms calls it less disease-susceptible than other Prunus, is this accurate?

How hardy is it, really? I've seen it rated anywhere from zone 5B (probably a stretch) to 7B as a minimum.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In Seattle dies back when there is a bad spring just like other susceptible ornamental stone fruits (such as Higan cherry trees) but seems to differ in being able to bounce back better. And in not being blighted as often. Fragrance is great, one independent garden center or another in the area over the years will be stocking it much of the time. But publicly visible, long term examples remain scarce. One thing I have observed from my own plantings is that cherry plum root-stocks used by at least one important West Coast wholesale source appear to actually be highly incompatible, with the apricot growing rapidly after planting, to make a top of some size - and then deteriorate markedly at the same time that an explosion of root-stock sprouts appears. On one site there is now an actual spreading infestation of cherry plum suckers that is going to have to be dug out, as the once lovely scion now dwindles away.

Unselected Japanese apricot seedlings can sometimes be nasty, with tiny flowers and numerous stiff spurs with spiny tips.

This post was edited by bboy on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 13:10

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:06PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I wonder what Lucille Whitman grafts hers on to?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:39PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

I'm very happy with my P. 'Peggy Clarke', but the rootstock is a nuisance. I got it at Raintree...I think Camforest grows them from cuttings, not grafts. Bloom has varied from late February to early-mid April after this last incredible winter...but it still bloomed. No foliar disease issues at all; many other Rosaceous trees have a terrible time here with my very humid (even by east coast standards) summers. 'IvanâÂÂs Belle' completely defoliates by midsummer! Though at least it was finally able to fruit this year: they are hideous tasting and not much better looking. Certainly no potential to be as pretty as a standard European rowan tree, even if it did not defoliate.

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 17:54

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 5:53PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Worth pointing out because I think it is widely misunderstood...the fruit of P. mume is edible, w/o processing. Doesn't have to be cooked to detoxify it or anything...which can be done with mountain ash if you're really in a bind and about to die of scurvy or something ;-). It's just small, and not very sweet, but definitely taste like a plum. If you somehow had a tree full of them and the birds didn't get them - mine do - you could certainly make jam from them or just eat them if you were willing to go through the hassle of picking something so small. In the obscure and eccentric category of "fruits barely worth eating" though, I'd still say Arbutus unedo 'Elfin King' is more satisfying. No pit to worry about, for one thing. Mine was killed to the ground but is coming back. Fuchsia regia is nice, too. That died out because it got shaded, not because of the winter. I would rate it higher than Leycesteria, which taste very interesting but are a true pain in the neck to pick.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 6:07PM
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